|Kimeli in a pose with Mr. N.A Adjin Tettey|
For the second time in the 26-year-old history of the prestigious Accra Milo Marathon, a non Ghanaian has laid claim to the title as king of Accra, beating a field of over about 7,000 runners to win the a 42.2km race held yesterday.
Not even a false start at the starting point “The Point”, Nungua, could distract the 27-year-old Kenyan businessman Alex Kimeli who until yesterday was doing mini marathon as a part-time job, as he took a time of 2h: 26mins to cross the finishing line at the Dansoman Keep Fit Club.
Kimeli thus equals the feat achieved by Nigerian Gideon Hagack who won the 1994 version of the marathon.
The Kenyan, a surprised package of this year’s event dubbed “champions run the city”, said it was his first time ever of running a marathon race of such distance in his life as the farthest he has run previously was a 25km road race.
|Alex Kimeli, approaching the finishing line|
According to the frequent visitor to the country, he got to know of the Accra Milo marathon last year while taking part in a smaller competition in Cote d’Ivoire and decided to give it a try this year.
Although not happy about the time he recorded, which he says was due to the lack of potent and stiff challenge from his competitors, he was happy that his vigorous three months training schedule has paid off with the winner’s medal at his first attempt at the Accra Milo marathon.
For his reward, Kimeli went home with a cool GH¢10,000, a winner’s trophy, a medal , a monthly supply of six cartons of Voltic mineral water for one year plus Milo products and souvenirs.
|Managing Director of Nestle Ghana Ltd., Mr. Moataz El Hout presenting Kimeli with the winners trophy|
First and second runners up in the mass sports event Joseph Yandal of the Ghana Police Service and Seth Nyamaa-Boadi from the Central region received cash prizes of GH¢ 7,000 and GH¢ 5,000 respectively runner up medals, monthly supply of cartons of Voltic mineral water for one year, Milo products as well as souvenirs.
Defending champion William Akuka Awunime could only manage sixth position, while the silver jubilee first runner up Kassim Mohamed of the Ghana Air Force came fifth this year - leaving Raja Lagble from the Volta Region in fourth position.
Highly-rated Godwin Adukpo, winner in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010 could not finish the race whilst the most decorated in the history of the annual competition with triumphs in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003and 2006 David Zigah settled for a disappointing ninth position - one place better than last year’s 10th position.
The ladies category saw last year’s runner up Elizabeth Bortsor from the Ghana Police Service taking a time of 3: 02:15secs to beat the second runner-up in the silver jubilee event last year and two-time champion in 1996 and 1999 Gifty Abbey of the Ghana Prisons Service to second place in a time of 3h: 08:21secs, while Josephine Kwakye also of the Police Service came in third place in a time of 3h: 13:33secs.
|Bortsor receiving her trophy from Mr. El Hout,|
Bortsor took home a GH¢ 10,000 cash reward, a trophy, medal, a monthly supply of five cartons of Voltic mineral water for one year plus Milo products and souvenirs, while Mrs. Abbey and Miss Kwakye received cash prizes of GH¢ 7,000 and GH¢ 5,000 respectively plus runner-up medals, monthly supply of cartons of Voltic mineral water for one year, Milo products and souvenirs.
The 5km Under-15 event saw 14-year-old Mustapha Alhassan beating Segbefia Seyeram and Philip Apuri to second and third place respectively to take home GH¢ 1,200 cash prize a trophy, medal, monthly supply of cartons of Voltic mineral water for one year, Milo products as well as souvenirs with GH¢ 800 and GH¢ 500 going for both runners up as well as monthly supplies of cartons of Voltic mineral water for one year, Milo products and souvenirs.
|Bortsor displaying her trophy|