Organsisers of the Okpekpe international 10km road race, the first World Athletics label road running event in West Africa say Nigeria’s pioneer and largest brewing firm, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Nigeria’s primary development finance institution set up to promote growth and sustainability, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) have once again thrown their weight behind the historic race.

Zack Amodu, the race director, said in a statement yesterday that the two companies have extended their partnership with the first road race in Nigeria to have its course measured by a World Athletics accredited course measurer as organizers celebrate 10 years of world class road running event in Nigeria.

“We are delighted the two companies have renewed their commitment to see that we deliver another world class event worthy of our gold label status,” said Amodu, who disclosed Nigerian Breweries Plc and Development Bank of Nigeria, DBN, have been part of the success story of the event.

 “Nigerian Breweries Plc is coming in as the official malt drink while DBN is the official bank of the road. We are thrilled that such socially responsible corporate organisations have thrown their weight behind us yet again. This is a testimony to the growing popularity of the Okpekpe road race.”

Amodu said Nigerian Breweries Plc, as the official malt drink of the race, would refresh athletes, spectators and officials with its two classic brands, Amstel Malta and the ZAGG Energy Malt.

“The support from Nigerian Breweries (since 2017) and Development Bank (since 2018) has seen the race grown from becoming the first World Athletics Label road race in West Africa to the first gold label 10km road race in Nigeria.

“We are indeed delighted to have the two companies on board yet again as we strive to become the first road race in Africa to be granted a Platinum status.”

In 2015, Okpekpe 10km Road Race became the first road race in West Africa to be granted a World Athletics label status.

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which means it is regarded as one of the world’s leading road races.

This came eight years after World Athletics began the classification of road running events.

Meanwhile this year’s edition, the 10th in the series will hold on May 25, 2024 in Okpekpe town in Edo State.

Last year, the duo of Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo and Kazakhstan’s Carolina Kipkirui set new course records to win the respective men and women’s title.

Ebenyo crossed the finish line in 28.28 to set the new course record at the event.

Another Kenyan, Brian Kwemoi, was second in 28.40, while 2022 winner, Ethiopian Yasin Hagi returned in 29:34 to place third.

The women’s race produced also new champion as Kipkirui ran a new 32:38 course record to win while Kenya’s Ludwina Chakintic (32:53) and Ethiopia’s Betukan Welder (32:58) emerged second and third respectively.