Other Sports of Monday, 26 September 2005
Accra, Sept. 26, GNA - King Tony Akwetey, the longest participant of the marathon at the Annual National Milo Marathon has slammed the organisers of the event for poor organisation and lack of recognition for his contributions towards the event in the past years.
King Akwetey, 73, has been a consistent feature of the Milo marathon since its inception in 1984 by the Dansoman Keep Fit Club.
Speaking with a lot of bitterness, the aggrieved marathoner told the finished in every event that he had competed in so far.
He said what is surprising is that the organisers have consistently turned a blind eye on his exploits and citing the last event as an example, he said, "I finished the 42 kilometre race before 12:00 pm, but because of the poor organisation there was no one to take record of my time".
"I always have to go round to look for people to record my time anytime I complete the race", he stated.
King Akwetey said he is not demanding any cash rewards from the organisers but the due recognition given him because of his age and the number of years that he has participated in the event. Though the veteran conceded to the fact that he was once recognised in 1994 for being the oldest runner, he however added that he was convinced the organisers could have done better judging from his consistency with the competition.
Concerning his position on future participation, King Akwetey said, "I plan running until I'm 101 years old, that is 2033. My inspiration does not come from monetary reward but from fame and recognition". "I know the organisers have deliberately turned a blind eye on me because of my outspoken nature on the way things are organised". "They can do what ever pleases them, but I will remain in the marathon until I have reached my target".
King Akewetey declared that he would consider participating in a marathon in Cote D' Ivoire next year and has started arrangements with the embassy of the West Africa tourney in that direction. He said, "if my people have refused to honour me, I believe I will get the recognisition elsewhere".
The oldest marathoner outlined regular exercises and good diet as the secret behind his strength and endurance. According to King Akwetey, he trains twice a day and makes sure the needed nutrients are present in his diet. He called on the organisers to be fair in awarding prizes to the participants.
The 19th edition of the Nestle sponsored event, which was supported by the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), State Insurance Company (SIC) Limited, Stanbic Bank, Milicom Ghana Limited and the Dansoman Keep Fit Club was won by 18 year old Godwin Adukpo.