By: Gyang Dakwo
Kenya’s Emmanuel Naibet and Bahrain runner Ruth Jebet Saturday emerged winners of the men’s and women’s categories respectively of the maiden Abuja International Marathon.
Naibet who won the 2021 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon emerged winner with a time of 2:13: 45 which is the best-ever recorded winning time in any first edition of Marathon races in Nigeria.
Finishing in second position was Benard Sang 2:13:49 while Ezekiel Koech ensured it was a complete sweep for Kenya in the men’s category with a time of 2:13:51.
In the women’s category Ruth Jebet from Bahrain stole the show as she won with a time of 2.36.08 while Kenya’s Mercy Kwambai was second with a time of 2:38:17 Dida Negasa from Ethiopia with 2:40:16 settled for the third spot.
There were also keen competitions for prizes in the 10km and 5km races which were dominated by fun runners and students from across the Abuja metropolis.
The historic marathon was held successfully with perfect weather for the over 10,000 athletes which included 32 foreign athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Bahrain and over 100 Nigerian elite athletes.
The Marathon featured three different races- the school Marathon for students (5km) and the family race (10km)- starting with the full marathon (42km) which started from the City Gate and ended at Eagle Square.