It was a clean sweep for the East Africans (Kenya and Ethiopia) as their representatives took the shine and limelight at the maiden edition
of the Ijebu-Ode Heritage Half Marathon powered by Rite Foods Limited, makers of the Bigi range of drinks,
on Saturday, 17th July 2021.
The 21-kilometer marathon was won by Kenya’s Hosea Kiplimo who finished the race in 1:02:36 secs, while his counterpart from Ethiopia,
Rhonzas Kilimo finished second in 1:02:57secs, followed by Kenya’s Timothy Ronoh, who raced to the finish line in 1:02:59secs.
The women’s race was also won by another Kenyan, Sandra Chebet in a time of 1:10:42secs, with two Ethiopians –
Gebaynesh Ayele, with the second position, and Beyenu Degefa, third, with a time of 1:10:52secs and 1:11:02 respectively.
lt was a clean sweep for the Kenyans, and also a race that brought two Ijebu indigenes, Femi Olusanya, a Police Officer
, and an eleven-year-old, Abigael Ogunbowale to the limelight.
Olusanya became the first Ijebu man to complete the race, while Abigael, became a star and the first woman to get to
the finish point of the 21 kilometers marathon which ended at the Dipo Dina Stadium in the ancient city.
More on the Ijebu-Ode Heritage Half Marathon
In appreciation of her effort, Mr. Seleem Adegunwa, the Managing Director of Rite Foods Limited, producers of Bigi Table Water,
the official water for the race, rewarded Abigael with N250, 000, adding that they are looking forward to making
the competition better next year.
He maintained that it was a wonderful beginning, seeing a girl of such age competing with international stars,
and also encouraged her to sustain the stride.
According to him, Rite Foods is proud to identify with worthy initiatives that add value to lives, as demonstrated in
the just concluded Bigi soft Drinks’ sponsored Nigerian Idol music reality show for budding artists.
“I really want to give kudos to all the athletes who started and finish the race, we are looking at making it better
“As the son of the soil, I will continue to promote activities that will bring honor to our people by bringing
events of this nature home.
“By our composition in Nigeria, we are good at sports; we just need to harness it so we can move to greater heights. I was not surprised today to see a 55-year-old and 11-year-old finishing the race, we were naturally gifted and
we need to improve on our talents.
“We intend to do more in sports with Abeokuta Marathon also coming up later in the year and we are looking forward
to activities like that to develop existing talent to make the nation proud,” Adegunwa said
By Taiyelolu A