Ethiopian’s Yasin Haji Returns To Defend Okpekpe 10km Road Race
Ethiopia’s Yasin Haji will be seeking to make history as the first man to successfully defend an Okpekpe international 10km road race title after the 27-year-old arrived Lagos for Saturday’s race in Okekpe, Edo State.
Jaji became the third, bonafide Ethiopian man to win the Okpekpe race 10km title after he ran 29:05, the third fastest winning time in race history, to win the title in 2022.
Teshome Mekonen who ran 28.35 in 2014 to set the race record was the first Ethiopian to win the men’s race and Leule Gebrselassie (29:28) became the second to win three years later.
Haji, who raced to a 27:00 lifetime best in the event last year in Lille has returned to form at the right time.
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The Ethiopian clocked 27:20 at the end of last month at the Adizero Road to Records, Adi-Dassler-Straße 1 in Herzogenaurach, Germany to send a message to his countryman, Mekonen that he is returning to Okpekpe to break the course record and make history.
The stage will not be for Haji alone as a certain Kenyan, Daniel Simiu Ebenyo will not only be seeking to return Kenya to the podium as Okpekpe race champion but also challenge Mekonen’s 28.35-course record.
Ebenyo is one of just 14 athletes in the event’s all-time list to have broken 27 minutes when he ran 26:58 in Valencia, Spain in January 2022, and like Haji, the 27-year-old has also returned to form just in time for the Okpekpe race.
He ran 59:52 to win the Istanbul Half Marathon in Istanbul, Turkey at the end of last month and will be looking to become the fifth Kenyan winner of the Okpekpe 10km title.
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In the women’s race, a new course record also looks to be in the offing following the quality of the elite cast for the event.
Kenya’s Edith Jepchumba will lead the cast of athletes aiming to rewrite the 32:41 course record set by Ethiopia’s Wude Ayalew in 2014.
The Kenyan ran a 30:53 lifetime best over the distance last February, nearly two minutes inside the course record and she is the fastest athlete among the elite cast confirmed for the race.
Ethiopia’s Bertukan Welde has also ran inside Ayalew’s course record when she clocked 32:00 to come in behind Jepchumba in Castellon, Spain last February.
Abigael Jelimo will be seeking to get the gold this time after running 33.53 to place third at the eighth edition of the Okpekpe race last year.
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Meanwhile, Solomon Arase, former Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police and now Chairman of the Police Service Commission has commended Mike Itemuagbor, owner of the Okpekpe 10km race for sustaining the world-class road running event in Nigeria.
‘Kudos to Mike (Itemuagbor), the great sports lover and administrator for putting the rural Okpekpe community on the map of the world. Okpekpe race has come to stay because of our brother who has been able to sustain it over the years,’ said Arase.
The ninth edition of the Okpekpe International 10km road race will hold on Saturday in Okpekpe in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo state.
Tobi Amusan Bags Master’s Degree From US University
Nigerian track star Tobi Amusan has graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Leadership Studies and Sports Management at the University of Texas, El Paso.
Photos of the world record holder and her coursemates posing with their graduation garments are currently making the rounds on the internet.
A trending video also captured the moment the women’s 100-metre hurdles world champion climbed on stage to receive her award.
Fans took to social media platforms to congratulate the track prodigy after pictures and videos from her graduation ceremony went viral on the internet.
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The Ogun-born star became Nigeria’s first ever world champion and world record holder in athletics when she won the 2022 World Championships 100m hurdles gold medal, setting the current world record of 12.12 seconds in the semi-final, followed up by a wind-assisted 12.06 seconds in the final.
EPL: Reason De Bruyne Told Guardiola To ‘Shut Up’ During Real Madrid Clash Revealed
Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry has said Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is dealing with a private issue.
Henry revealed this while speaking on CBS Sport, following City’s 4-0 win over Madrid at the Etihad on Wednesday night.
The Premier League champions progressed with a 5-1 aggregate victory and will now face Inter Milan in the final on June 10.
De Bruyne, who provided two assists on the night, was clearly pissed off during the game and was filmed shouting “shut up” towards Guardiola.
In the clip, Guardiola told the Belgian to “pass the ball”.
After losing possession, De Bruyne turned around to the City manager and shouted: “Shut up! Shut up!”
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Henry, who has coached De Bruyne at international level, shared a warm embrace with the player, before saying: “It was [a touching moment]. I can’t say it because I have to keep that private.
“But from what he said to me, I even more respect how he played tonight and how he came and battled with his team. I can’t share what he said because I can’t share it. That’s how it is. But once again, I will go back to, for me he is the most important player.”
UCL: Ally McCoist Names Unstoppable Team Ahead Of FA Cup, Champions League Finals
Former Rangers and Scotland legend Ally McCoist has noted that Manchester City are unstoppable at the moment.
City are three wins away from the treble as they booked their place in the Champions League final with an emphatic 5-1 aggregate win over Real Madrid.
McCoist told talkSPORT Breakfast: “They were brilliant from start to finish. The game was finished at half-time and it should have been four.
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“They did not have a weakness in that team at all, and on that performance, they were effectively unstoppable. Unstoppable!
“It’s as good a performance I’ve seen from a team at any level for a long, long time.”
Manchester City will play Manchester United in the FA Cup final and are just one victory away from winning the Premier League this season.
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