Mr Bukola Olopade, the Chairman of Nilayo Sports Management Company, owners of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, has commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on his commitment support to sports development in Lagos State.
Olopade gave the commendation on Friday in an interview on the sidelines of the 2024 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon press briefing at Access Bank headquarters, Victoria Island.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the press briefing was organised as part of activities marking the 9th Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Olopade said he was grateful to Gov. Sanwo-Olu for his unrelenting support to the world Gold-label race after picking it from the Bronze level.
“We are thankful to Gov. Sanwo-Olu and the Lagos State government because the governor has shown that he is a man to beat when it comes to sports development in Nigeria.
“We can see this even from the way he challenged everyone and hosted the Super Eagles of Nigeria before they departed to Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) where nobody gave the team a chance.
“Now, the team is successful and we are all enjoying the success today, ” he said.
Olopade said that Sanwo-Olu had been instrumental to the giant strides made by the race so far, especially in moving from one label to the other.
“Looking at the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon today, Gov. Sanwo-Olu has been instrumental to its success so far.
”He puts himself to it in spite of the fact that he would have looked away, given that it is a privately owned race.
“Gov. Sanwo-Olu puts all the ingredients that have grown the marathon from bronze label, that he picked it from, to gold label, and now, we are talking about the Platinum label.
“We also want to thank all our sponsors, especially Access Bank, for picking up the race from the scratch till now, ” he said.
Olopade said that the different varieties introduced to the race would help it to become a more perfect race.
NAN reports that the press briefing attracted several dignitaries in the sports circle such as the President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Tonobok Okowa.
It also attracted the Director-General of the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) and the executives from the World Athletics among others.
NAN reports that more than 88 Gold Label athletes are expected at the 9th edition of the marathon as the United Nations also sent 15 refugee runners to participating in the race.
The top contenders for the race include Kenyan Demis Kipmeto, a former world record holder with the time of 2:02:57.
Also expected are Kelkile Gezahegn of Ethiopia with 2:05:56 and Kiptoo Edwin of Kenya, with 2:06:56, among others.
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