Faith Omoruyi, Lagos
Organisers of the IAAF silver label Okpekpe international 10km road race say arrangements have been concluded for a hitch free race this Saturday in Okpekpe near Auchi,Etsako East Local Government area of Edo state.
Mercy Etukudo,who heads the event’s secretariat assured Pamodzi Sports Marketing,organisers of the race will stage another world class event as all logistics,both technical and administrative are in place for a bigger and better event this year.
‘Of course we are set to go.We have concluded all arrangements for a hitch-free and successful race on Saturday.The elite athletes have arrived Nigeria and will leave for Auchi on Thursday where accomodation has been reserved for them.
‘Nigerian elite athletes will also be in Auchi on Thursday while other participants have started collecting running numbers since Tuesday at Fatima College in Auchi.Collection will continue until 2pm on Friday.’said Etukudo who revealed that all participants will receive a running race vest, number bibs, and chips.
Finishers will receive medal and certificate.
Etukudo also disclosed that arrangement for a seamless doping control have been concluded.
‘We have our doping control station built in Okpekpe.It has a waiting room,a working room and toilets for both men and women since the race is mixed gender.We also have the sample collection equipment vis the collection vessels for collecting urine/blood from the athletes as well as sealable and tamper-evident bottles and lids for securing the samples.”
She added that key officials that will ensure a smooth and incident-free organisation of the race are in place.
”We have the start and finish managers whose jobs will be to set up the start and the finish area including the mobile toilets,changing facilities,baggage handling, refreshments, crowd control barriers and the timing system among other things.
‘Of course we have announced that Dr Akin Amao will still be in charge of the anti doping unit.We have the starter,timekeepers, recorders and the race referee secured as well as technical officials that have been handling the race entries and issuing race numbers and instructions.’
Etukudo further revealed that the pre-race technical meeting will hold at the Nezer hotel on Friday 24th of May by 2pm.
‘It is at the meeting with the elite athletes and their representatives that all arrangements like the warm-up schedule, configuration of refreshment stations and how to reach the finish line in case of drop-out will be communicated.”
This year’s race will be organised with a gold label template as organisers hope for a gold label status for the eighth edition in 2020.
‘This is why I said this year’s race will be bigger and better because our sights are focussed on scoring another first which will be to be the first gold label road race in West Africa.Remeber we are the first label race in Nigeria nay West Africa and the first silver label race also in Nigeria and West Africa.