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November 27, 2007. Kenya's Rita Jeptoo Sitienei and Ethiopia's Habtamu Awash won the women's and men's title at the 2007 Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race in Cross River state, Nigeria.

Awash won the men's race in a time of 42:50, taking home a 50,000 USD prize money, with Ugandan Geoffrey Kusuro, a World Junior Championships participant, finishing second in 43:02 and Kenyan John Sompol third in 43:06.

Jeptoo Sitienei took the women's race in 51:42 and Ethiopia's Ashu Kasime was second in 52:01. 

The 2006 Obudu race winner Rehima Kedir of Ethiopia could only finish seventh in 53.34.

Complete Results

1. Rita Jeptoo Sitienei (KEN) 51:42
2. Ashu Kasime (ETH) 52:01
3. Angela Mutuku (KEN) 53:09

1. Habtamu Awash (ETH) 42:50
2. Geofrey Kuruso (UGA) 43:02
3. John Sompol (KEN) 43:06


November 22, 2007. The 2002 World Half Marathon Champion and women's 10,000m African record holder, Ethiopia's Berhane Adere is among the new set of top stars that have indicated their interest to run at the maiden AFN/GLO Lagos International Half Marathon, reports The Daily Champion.

Adere, who was a two-time LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon winner in 2006 and 2007 and a UNICEF goodwill ambassador for girls' education, was also a bronze medalist at the 2001 IAAF World Half Marathon Championship and world champions indoor at 3000m at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championship.

Also confirmed is former Lagos Half Marathon winner, Fabiano Joseph from Tanzania who won two successive World Half Marathon Championship silver medals in 2003 and 2004 before winning the gold in 2005.

AFN technical and performance director, Sunday Bada, told the media that the AFN and Glo are working round the clock to bring the best half-marathoners across the globe for the December 8 event.



February12, 2007. The Nigerian athletics governing body has allays athletes fears about their preparations for the upcoming 9th All Africa Games in Algiers this July.

Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Technical and Performance Director, Sunday Bada told the Guardian's Olukayode Thomas that the Gateway International Stadium hostel in Ijebu-Ode camping site is suitable for the athletes.

Bada revealed that the AFN decided against camping the athletes in hotels to avoid distraction and debunked remarks by Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic 4x400 metres medallist, Enefiok Udobong, that the Ijebu-Ode camp is not conducive for the athletes.

He said: "The AFN is peopled by those who have done Nigeria proud in track and field in the past and are experienced enough to know the best way to prepare a team for any international engagements.

"From experience, we found out that camping our athletes in hotels is usually counter-productive.

"Absolute concentration is required as far as preparing for a major championship is concerned and this informed our decision to use the Gateway Stadium hostel which hosted the whole of the athletics family barely a year ago at the National Sports Festival.

"The hostel is inside the stadium and the athletes have been saved the rigours of spending several hours in traffic before getting to the stadium to train.''


November 28 , 2006. Nigeria’s largest GSM telecoms operator, MTN Nigeria has raised the stakes for it's 4th Lagos International Half Marathon event on December 2nd, with an innovative online quiz competition.

The popular competition was designed to educate the populace about the yearly event and to create awareness of the race and its fight against HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The quiz, running on MTN Online for about nine weeks now, allow subscribers to text their answers with the word 'quiz' before a space, and then the answer to a dedicated short code, 32052 weekly, with each text costing 30 Nigerian naira.

A few of the questions that had elicited thousands of responses from subscibers over the last eight weeks are: "What is the distance of the MTN Lagos International Half Marathon? "What is the lowest denomination of the MTN recharge cards? "Who was the first  Nigerian to cross the finish line in the 2004 MTN Lagos International Half Marathon?"


August 04, 2006. The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has announced a list of 36 athletes to represent the country at the forthcoming Africa athletics championships from August 9 to 13 in Mauritius, reports the Daily Independent.

The team include: Olusoji Fasuba, Deji Aliu, Uchenna Emedolu, Chinedu Oriala and Adetoyi Durotoye (100m), James Godday and Saul Weigopwa (400m), Enoch Dogonyaro 1,500m and Danjuma Kopkuddi (5,000/10,000m).

Other are Selim Nurudeen (110Hm) and Osita Okagu and Moruf Lawal (400Hm), Arinze Obiora and Samson Idiata (High Jump), Tunde Suleiman ( Long Jump) and Chima Ugwu ( Discus and Short Put).

In the women's sprint team are UTEP sophomore Damola Osayemi, Gloria Kemasuode, Endurance Ojokolo, Josephine Onyia and Franca Idokoh, whilst Christy Epkukhon and Alice J. Ogbuaku are listed for the 400m and 4x400m relay event.

Grace Ebor (800m), Tawa Adetiba (1,500m), Chinedu Odozor-Onikelu (Lond Jump) Josephine Onyia and US-based Toyin Augustus (100m Hurdles), while Otonye Iworima, Vivian Chukwuemeka and Funke Adeoye would will compete in Triple Jump, Shot Put and Hammer events respectively.



July 11, 2006. The IAAF has announced the immediate suspension of Ghanaian male athlete, Aziz Zakari.

Zakari was provisionally suspended by the IAAF following an adverse analytical finding for the prohibited substance, Stanozolol (S1. Anabolic Agents) in his system after a routine doping test.

The test was conducted In-Competition (IC) on April 29, 2006 at the IAAF Grand Prix Meeting in Dakar, Senegal.

Zakari is provisionally suspended under IAAF Rule 38.2 pending a hearing before the relevant disciplinary tribunal of the Ghana Athletic Association.

Under IAAF rules the minimum sanction for a first violation for Stanozolol is ineligibility for 2 years.

Meanwhile, South African athlete Isaiah Mkuna had been given a life ban from the sport.



April 18, 2006. Nigerian 400m runner Christie Ekpukhon was the golden girl of the just concluded track and field events of the 15th National Sports Festival, as her four gold medals helped Delta State to the top of the medals' table in Ijebu Ode, reports Thisday.

After winning the 400m Sunday evening in 51.89 secs, Ekpukhon again dusted Mercy Nku in the 200m to win the second gold of the day for Delta in 23.13secs.

Nku clocked 23.92 secs to settle for the silver. The bronze went to Imo state Ngozi Nwokwocha who ran 24.30 secs.

In the 4x400m relay Ekpukhon anchored Delta to another gold in 45.84 secs while Edo girls picked silver with the bronze going to host Ogun.

But Ekpukhon was not done yet. She returned 40 minutes later to run a mind blowing last leg of the 4x400m to pick the fourth gold for Delta state.


March 10, 2006. Nigeria's James Godday edged out World Championships semi-finalist Ato Modibo and Australia's Clinton Hill to win the men's 400m at last nights' Telstra A-series at Melbourne Olympic Park.

Czech Republic-based Godday, 22, who ran an impressive 44.99 secs at the Nigerian trials in Abuja last month, won in 45.65 secs.

Modibo out-dipped Hill for second position with 45.72 to 45.75. In fourth position was 2001 World Champion Avard Moncur of Bahamas with 46.04.

Nigerian Uchenna Emedolou also out dipped Australian Daniel Batman to win the men's 200m in 20.63 to Batman's 20.64.

Gambian Jaysuma Saidy Ndure was third in 20.72.


February 18, 2006. The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has selected 32 athletes to represent the country at the XVIII Commonwealth Games 2006 in Melbourne, Australia.

AFN's technical director, Sunday Bada, told the Thisday at the end of the 17th Mobil Track and Field Championships in Abuja that the team was selected after a painstaking assessment of areas where Nigeria has great potentials of winning medals.

"We are not going to Melbourne on a jamboree. We are going to the Commonwealth Games with athletes with potentials to do this country proud," Bada said.

Olusoji Fasuba, who beat the experience pair of Deji Aliu and Uchenna Emedolu to win the men's 100m leads the team with Aliu, Emedolu, Peter Emelezie and Uzodima Alozie, while Gloria Kemasuode, Mercy Nku, Endurance Ojokolo topped the female team.


November 10, 2005. A Village boy from the Nigerian oil rich Niger-Delta region stunned athletics watchers with a debut 10.57 secs posting to beat top favourites to the 100m title in a major local competition in the state, reports The Vanguard.

The unnamed student of Delta University, Abraka, who trains on the grass at his Ogwashi-Uku village and had never run on a tartan track, felt no shivers on the new ultra-modern Oghara mini stadium to become the fastest man at the 5th Delta State sports festival yesterday.

Described as raw and a revelation, the best training the boy had ever been exposed to was on his village grass fields and he was running in a major local competition for the first time.

"He had no technique, just natural talent. He was only rugged and still posted 10.57. You can imagine what happens when he starts training on track.

"When I start training him, I think that he can run 10.2 in three to four months. The boy is a revelation," said state coach Taiwo Ariyo to The Vanguard.



August 29, 2005. Ghana's sprinter Aziz Zakari dipped under 10 seconds to win the men's 100 metres at the Rieti IAAF Grand Prix meeting last night, reports Ghana Home Page.

Zakari won with a meet record of 9.99 secs, matching his career best.

American Tyson Gay, fourth in the 200 metres at the World Athletics championships in Helsinki, finished second in 10.08 secs, while Britain's Jason Gardener was third in 10.09 secs.

St Kitts' Kim Collins, the 2003 world champion, was sixth in 10.16 secs and Uchenna Emedolu of Nigeria was seventh in 10.27 secs.

Zakari, who finished last in the final in Helsinki, said: "I've had a great season despite what happened at the world championships."



June 14, 2005. Sponsors of the 15th Mobil/NNPC Track and Field Championship/World Athletics Championships trials has introduced cash rewards for the first time in the history of the competition, which started in 1990, reports Nigeriansportsonline.com.

Events winners will each receive N50,000 (£200) while runners-up will receive N30,000(£120) and third place finishers will get N20,000 (£80) each.

The name sponsor of the meet, Mobil Oil Producing Unlimited expects this token to engender more competition among participating athletes at the annual meet.

It would also provide an opportunity for local athletes who could not take part in the IAAF Grand Prix and other international meets to earn some money at home.



May 30, 2005. Ghanaian Ignasious Gaisah claimed victory in the men’s Long Jump on his final attempt, with an 8.11 metres leap at the 36th Rhede International meeting in Germany, reports IAAF website.

Aided by a slightly excessive wind of 2.1, the jump snatched the lead from Botswanan Gable Gernamotse, who had temporarily held the advantage with a fifth-round 8.07 metres.

The next two places were claimed by Jamaican James Beckford (7.94m) and Martin McClintock of South Africa (7.87m).

The 21-year-old Gaisah revealed that his goal for the season is to break the African record, currently the 8.46 by Senegalese Cheikh Touré. With a PB of 8.32 metres in winning the World Athletics Final last year, Gaisah would seem to have a reasonable chance.

"I knew right on the take-off it was going to be a good jump," said the Rotterdam-based star.



May 17, 2005. IAAF's technical instructor, Rotimi Obajimi has applauded the election of ex-international athlete Violet Odogwu Nwajei as the new President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

Obajimi, told the Nigeriansportsonline.com: "I support her (Mrs. Violet Odogwu-Nwajei) election and I hope that as a former athlete herself she would see reasons not to bastardize the sport as the last administration did.

"We need serious development and not just competitions. The development of athletes at junior and senior levels up to the level of scholarship as it used to be.

"The coaches and umpires too need to be updated. Tell me, when last did you hear the AFN organise a coaching course or clinic.


April 12, 2005. The wife of the governor of a Nigerian southern state has been elected onto the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), reports Nigeriansportsonline.com.

Delta state's First Lady, Nkoyo Ibori, a former president of the Special Sports Federation of Nigeria (SSFN), beat Ex-AFN technical director, Brown Ebewele in Benin to emerge representative of Zone 2 on the AFN board.

She will however face stiff contest from former national athlete and AFN's 1st Vice President, Violet Odogwu-Nwajie for the position of the federation's President.

The election of national officials into the boards of the 28 sports associations is slated for April 14 in Abuja, the Nigerian capital city.


February 25, 2005. A director of sports in one of Nigeria's southern states, Brown Ebewele, has lambasted the Athletics Federation of Nigeria over their unseriousness and planless attitude towards the development of the game in the country, reports sports radio Brila 88.9 FM.

He called on the sports ministry to come to the rescue of the athletes and the federation, as it is not certain what will happen to them this year.

Ebewele, who said that he is used to having only one competition a year, believes it is high time that the right things are done as athletics to him is business and should be given the proper attention.

No date has been fixed for elections into the various boards of the sports federations, but he believes that ex athletes should form the new look athletics board.


February 10, 2005. Africa's best ever female sprinter, Mary Onyali Omagbemi has called on Nigerian sporting authorities to begin early preparations for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

The local Daily Champion newspaper reported the queen of the tracks as saying "there are lots of lessons to be drawn from the failure at the last Olympic Games in Athens to avoid the mistakes of the past."

"Let us not cry over spilled milk. But there are lesson to learn from it for a better tomorrow, she said.

"We should start in earnest to prepare for the Commonwealth games".

November 20, 2004. Mobil Producing Nigeria has expressed delight at the success so far recorded by the Akwa Ibom/NNPC/Mobil Schools Athletics Championship, reports Thisday newspapers.

The American Oil Company two years ago instituted a one-off scholarship for youths in their host producing communities, and doled out a total of N1.2 million to about 100 students who emerged tops at the 3rd edition of the championship last year.

Mobil's Field Public Affairs spokesperson, Yemi Fakayejo, said: "Mobil is happy to contribute to the development of our youths through sports and education.

"We're happy that products from the schools athletics championship have been instrumental to the superlative showing of the State at national competitions."

The zonal finals are scheduled to hold at the eight sports zones preparatory to the state final on 3 - 4 December in Eket.



October 25, 2004. Ghanaian long jump star Ignatius Gaisah has been awarded the country's topmost Award - Sports Personality of the year 2003, as well as the male athlete of the year - at the 29th Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Awards ceremony in Accra.

According to Ghana Homepage, he received the award in recognition of his outstanding performance in 2003, winning a gold medal during the 2003 All-Africa Games, in Abuja- Nigeria, with a record shattering-feat and sterling performances during the IAAF Grand Prix circuit.

Last year double winner, heptathlete Margaret Simpson, took home only the female athlete of the year 2003 this time.

Team of the Year award was won by Ghana's 4x100 metres men's quartet of Christian Nsiah, Eric Nkansah, Aziz Zakari and Leo Myles-Mills who stunned Nigeria to win gold at the All Africa Games.

This year's award was held at the plush Alisa Hotel in Accra last Saturday, 23 October 2004.



October 22, 2004. Nigeria's athletics icon and quarter miler, Falilat Ogunkoya-Osheku has described the tenure of the out-going Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President, Dan Ngerem as ‘fruitless’, according to the local Guardian Newspapers and Nigeriasports.com.

The Atlanta ’96 medallist reaction follows comments by the out-going President blaming the Ministry of Sports and Social Development, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and the private sector for the present woes that have befallen the sport in recent times.

Ngerem had told the Emeka Omeruah led sports panel - set up by the Nigerian government to find out why the country failed at the Athens 2004 Olympics games - that his crusade and efforts to take athletics out of the woods in the last three years did not yield any result because he received no support or whatsoever.

He was also reported to have informed the panel that it was the bonus the federation gets from FILA that it uses in running the body.

But Ogunkoya-Osheku dislodged such ill-comments, describing Dan Ngerem as a self-centred administrator.

She told the same forum: "His 'I know-it-all' attitudes, paucity of knowledge of the sports and his unwillingness to learn was responsible for his failures.

"You can never achieve anything in life if you decide to operate on such arrogance and attitude because you can’t know it all."


October 8, 2004. Nigeria's sports loving governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel will be conferred with the African Statesman of the Year award
at the forthcoming GAB (Gathering of Africa's Best) Awards in London.

Otunba Daniel, whose state will be hosting the National Sports Festival next year, was described by award organisers "to have
displayed sincere statesmanship and leadership in today's Nigeria
where most people put themselves, and their pockets, before others and the people they have been elected to serve."

The main objective of the GAB Awards is to reward excellence among
distinguished sons and daughters of Africa who are contributing to the positive image of Africa and Africans worldwide, especially in the UK.

Others vying for the GAB Awards on October 10 include former British 400 hurdles champion Kriss Akabusi and BBC Presenter and wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan among others.


August 30, 2004. Nigeria men's team clinched two bronze medals in dramatic fashion just when it looked like they would finish without an Olympic medal of any colour for the first time in the last four Olympics.

The men's 4x100m and 4x400m relay team recorded one of the most consolatory victories of the Games on the last day of the Athens games.

The quartet of Fasuba, Emedolu, Egbele and Aliu set a season's best of 38.23 to place third behind the Great Britain and United States.

At Sydney 2000 Olympics, Team Nigeria won silver in the 4x400m relay and the quartet of Godday, Audu, Weigopwa and Udo Obong nearly repeated that feat.

But they could only finish in third place behind United States and Australia in a season's best time of 3:00.90.

The quartet of James Gooday, Musa Audu, Saul Weigopwa and Enefiok Udo Obong also grabbed a bronze medal in the 4x400m men race after returning in a time of 3:00 90.


NIGERIA’s largest GSM telecoms operator, MTN Nigeria has promised a much improved 3rd MTN Lagos International Half Marathon event in November, the Nigeriasports.com has reported.

Officials has made a passionate appeal to Nigerians to respect the rules of the event and give the runners a right of way during the race.

Abass Umoru, General Manager of the Lagos Half Marathon event said that the desire to improve on their previous outing led the telecoms company (title sponsors) to introduce a four-regional road race.

The event is spread across four cities of Enugu, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Ibadan as prelude to the Lagos half marathon.



Accra mail reported that the annual Milo marathon will be held on a different course this year.

According to the organisers, the Dansoman Keep Fit Club, this year's event would be held on September 26.

This falls on a Sunday so as to ensure the safety of the 3000 participants since there is normally less vehicular traffic on Sundays.

Mr Colin Taylor, Marketing Manager of Nestlé Ghana Limited said the 15-kilometre and 42.2-kilometre Olympic distance race for the Under-15 and mass sports will be maintained.

And the starting points would as usual be at the Kaneshie Sports Complex.