Cash crunch hits Lagos marathon
*The show must go on,
AFN boss Local organising committee of the Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon has been hit by cash crunch and Lagos State governor, Akinwummi Ambode is being expected to sign some cheques today to keep the race on track.
The marathon is billed to start tomorrow at 7.00 am, but as at yesterday officials were scratching their heads on how to put the items on the check-list on ground.
It was gathered that the sponsors, demanded an account of the monies so far spent, before they could release more funds. “We have been here since morning waiting for race t-shirts and other things we need, but we have been asked to wait till Saturday morning,” said one of the athletics officials at the Teslim Balogun Stadium yesterday.
The LOC chairman, Deji Tinubu was not available for comment. However Athletics Federation of Nigeria president, Solomon Ogba assured that the event is on course and will hold as scheduled on Saturday.
“Already we have the elite athletes on ground. They are being kept at the Eko Hotels, even at that we have more than the number of international athletes we expected, and we have put them in hotels around Surulere.
“It is an Olympic year and most of the athletes here are aiming to run and get qualification times. So we are looking forward to a good start and finish on Saturday,” Ogba said.
Three bus load of international athletes were seen at the Teslim Balogun stadium. One of the athletes, Peter Kiplagat who won the 2015 Geneva Marathon said he hopes to finish the 42km race inside 2hrs 17 minutes adding that the time should see him among the top finishers.
“I am very excited to be in Lagos for their first City marathon, I have been training hard for this, this is my first time in Lagos and this is also my first big race of the year, I am here to win, I hope that happens on Saturday” Kiplagat declared.
The race with a total prize money of N92 million will start at the National Stadium Lagos and finish at the Eko Atlantic City.