Yakubu, Azuri win 29th Milo marathon

Marathon PixMalik Yakubu won the 29th edition of the Accra Milo held yesterday, beating over 9,000 runners across the country to join the competition’s elite.

The 42.2 km race which started from the Nungua Barrier and ended at the Dansoman Keep Fit grounds saw the Ashanti region runner finish in a time of 2:22:46 seconds.

He walked away with a cash prize of GH¢15, OOO as well as products from Milo and Voltic.

It becomes Yakubu’s second major feat within two weeks after winning the Millennium Marathon also held in Accra.

Last year’s winner, Alhaji Kassim Mohammed followed in second position with Joseph Yandal of the Ghana Police Service coming in third.

Elizabeth Azuri, a 19-year old girl made waves in the women’s division, running her fastest time to win her first career  trophy to pocket the cash prize of GH¢15, 000.

The young runner who placed fourth last year managed to beat stiff competition from last year’s winner Sakat Lariba, who settled for the second position with veteran runner, Elizabeth Bortsor of the Ghana Police Service following in third position.

Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye who was the Guest of Honour said the Marathon in the past produced champions that won laurels for the country at international level but appears the trend has changed.

“It’s a pity to see Ghana participate at international competitions without winning medals. The story is different in the past, meaning we have to put in a greater effort to revive our sports, especially long distance running.”

In realizing that, he stressed the need to also revive the schools and colleges sports which used to be the platform on which several talented athletes are unearthed.

He also identified colts’ football as one of the areas that also needs assistance.

But all of these, he said, cannot be left on government alone and therefore called on corporate sector players to assist by making funds available to help develop the disciplines in need.

He added that, there would be an aggressive development and promotional activities to attract corporate support.

Mr. Vanderpuye congratulated the winners and sponsors for their efforts, adding that the winners would be considered in their plans towards Tokyo 2020.

Managing Director of Nestle, Freda Duplan pledged continuous support for the event and urged runners to continue training for subsequent events.

Milo she said is 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 its growth.

By Michael D. Abayateye



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