By Kayode Ayeni,Ibadan –
A 35-year-old mother of three children, Hudung Gya from Plateau State has emerged winner of the 9th Splash FM Ibadan City Marathon, held at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan last weekend.
She returned in a time of 3 hours,10 minutes and 28 seconds to emerge as champion in the female category.
In the male category, Sharabutu Phillips from Nasarawa State emerged as winner and grabbed the top prize of N1million after finishing in a time of 2:36:46 seconds to dethroned the defending champion Iliya Pam, who is also from Nasarawa State.
The former champion came second in a time of 2:38:21 seconds while Ibrahim Abdullahi, a Youth Corp member, also from Nasarawa State came third in a time of 2:41:18 seconds.
Dignitaries at the event were the Zonal Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Zone 1, Pastor Yemi Usikaye who represented the Honourable Minister for Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung, Member House of Representative Abuja, Honourable Temitope Olutoye (Sugar), Chairman, Splash FM 105.5 Ibadan, Chief Adebayo Akande and the Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Oyo State, Barrister Yomi Oke.
Reacting, champion of the 42 kilometer marathon, Sharabutu Philips praised the almighty God for giving him the strength to complete the event successfully.
He urged the Federal Government to cater for other sports and stop concentrating on football alone. He also appealed for more sponsors to rally round Nigerian marathoners so they defeat athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia in international meets.
Philips stated that the difference between them (Nigerian marathoners) and other world champions is altitude. He believes that “with sponsors coming to support us, we would be able to train outside the country and come up as world champions”.