Rhoda Jepkhorir of Kenya, the first female elite athlete to cross the finish line in Saturday’s 2nd Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, said she would not hesitate to marry a Nigerian if approached.
Jepkhorir told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the finish point that she would not hesitate due to the kind nature of Nigerians.
“If a Nigerian man should ask for my hand in marriage, I will marry him because Nigerians are nice people.
“Nationality is no barrier, so far he is committed and caring, I will have no option,’’ she said.
She also said that she loved watching the duo of Nigerian actors, Aki and Pawpaw, saying that she was so attached to Nigeria.
“Aki and Pawpaw are my best actors in Nigeria, I have so much love for the Nigerian movie industry,’’ the runner said.
The athlete, who is visiting Nigeria for the first time, said that winning the race was a dream come through for her.
“The race has given me the opportunity to come to my dream country, I will come over and over again,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, Enefiok Udo-Obong, a gold medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, has said that Nigerian long distance runners competing with the world’s best would help to improve their skills.
Udo-Obong made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the National Stadium, Surulere, the starting point of the 2017 42km Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
“Apart from training and preparing to be a better athlete, you are expected to compete with others to evaluate yourself.
“So, we must compete with the best to get better as far as long distance race is concerned and also participate in more competitions to increase our profile in long distance races.
“Some people are always of the opinion that we have no business hosting Marathon because Nigerians are not marathoners but that is not true.
“Competitions of this magnitude are good for our sports development, good for the host city and also good for tourism development,’’ he said.
On the Lagos City Marathon, the gold medalist told NAN that there was a huge improvement in this year’s edition and commended the orgnisers for innovations.
“The organisers did a great job this year, a lot of improvement and the event was better organised and I hope they will not relent in the subsequent editions.
Abraham Kiptom of Kenya won the international category of the 2nd Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, defending his title.
Philip Sharabutu also defended the first Nigerian male title and Emmanuel Gyang came second in the Nigerian male category.
The first place winner in the international category will receive 50,000 dollars, while the second place will get 40,000 dollars and third place 30,000 dollars.
Also, the winner in the Nigerian category will get N1 million.
The organisers had announced that the cash awards will be paid at the finish point at Eko Atlantic City.