Track & Field News of Thursday, 22 September 2016
Malik Yakubu yesterday became the 29th Accra Milo Marathon champion after racing past over nine thousand runners in the annual 42.2 km race.
He distinguished himself among the lot midway in the country’s biggest mass race and kept his cool to the finishing line at the Dansoman Keep Fit Club.
Based in the Ashanti Region, the winner finished in 2 hours 22 minutes and 46 seconds, shrugging off stiff opposition from defending champion Alhaji Kassim Mohammed (2hrs:22:59) to walk away with the staggering GH¢15,000 cash prize together with Milo products and boxes of Voltic Mineral Water.
Last year’s winner for his effort, received a cash prize of GH¢5000 as well as Milo products and Voltic Mineral Water. Joseph Yandal of the Ghana Police Service (2 hours 23:14) took home GH¢3000 and products.
Last year’s ladies fourth-placed Elizabeth Azuri dethroned defending champion Sakat Yariba to walk away with the GH¢15, 000 cash prize plus other goodies, with Azuri placing second for the GH¢5,000 at stake.
Seasoned Elizabeth Bortsor of the Ghana Police Service followed in third position and received GH¢3000 and products from sponsors.
The first 20 runners received well-packaged Milo products, while the remaining participants were presented with certificates of participation.
The non-competitive (Fun) race introduced last year attracted over thousand participants and would see Nestle Ghana providing 40,000 shoes to needy pupils in selected schools nationwide.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye said the Marathon in the past produced champions that won laurels for the country at the international level.
He added that “It is a pity to see Ghana participate at international competitions without winning medals but government cannot do it alone and would require support from corporate Ghana like what Nestle Ghana is doing for Ghana to get to the top.”
The Sports Chief indicated that “The winners would be considered in our plans towards Tokyo 2020.”
Managing Director of Nestle, Freda Duplan pledged his outfit’s continued support in their quest to promote and develop sports, particularly long distance running in the country.
She mentioned that Milo was committed to the development of sports in the country especially at the grassroots level and would involve all stakeholders across the country to assist in the growth of sports.
She expressed appreciation to the runners in the 5km category adding that the 40,000 shoes would be distributed in selected districts across the country in November.