Kenya’s Edwin Kibet wins 2023 Lagos City Marathon
By Anulika Menanya, Lagos
Edwin Kibet Koech of Kenya has won the 8th edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon event held in Lagos, Nigeria.
Kibet beat more than 300 elite runners to win this year’s edition with a time of 2:14:06 seconds on Saturday morning.
Kibet was seconds ahead of Dekeba Shefa of Ethiopia with a time of 2:14:54s while Bernard Sang made it a 1-3 for the Kenyans in 2:17:14s.
The 42km annual event, which was last year recently upgraded by the world athletics body to a gold label, saw the 39-year-old Kibet claim a $50,000 cash prize for first position.
Ethiopian, Shefa took home $40,000 and Sang got $30,000.
Kibet, with Shefa following closely behind, broke off from the pack towards the 30km mark and held on for the finish.
In the women’s category, 2018 winner and last year’s runner-up, Alemenseh Guta of Ethiopia, crossed the line first in 2:40:42, followed by 2020 second-placed, Kebene Urisa in second place in 2:40:44 with compatriot, Naomi Maiyo maintaining the same position she took in 2022 in third place with a time of 2:40:56.
Having finished in 2nd place in the last two marathons, Maiyo is hoping for a 3rd time-a-charm outing in 2024.
Maiyo said she was hoping to finish better this year but couldn’t due to the weather.
She said, “I’m happy to have been invited to the tournament like last year. I’m also happy I won the third position. Next year I hope and pray I come to win the race”.
The winners of both the men’s and women’s races qualified for the marathon event at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Gyang Nyango was the first Nigerian to cross the finish line in a time of 2:27:15s. While Nyango takes home 3 million Naira for his efforts, Adamu Muazu who came second will pocket 2 Million Naira and third place Friday Yohanna with a time of 2:33:02s gets 1 Million Naira.
The same goes for the women with Deborah Pam (2:49:33) first, Elizabeth Nuhu (3:00:20) second and Dimatu Yahana (3:02:12) third.
Race for Platinum Label
The Lagos City Marathon attained a gold label status after seven editions and organisers were looking to begin an application for the Platinum label. One of the criteria for a Platinum label is a course record of 2:10 minutes for the men’s race and 2:13 minutes for the women’s.
Unfortunately, that could not be achieved as the winner, Kibet fell short of the time by 4 minutes. That means that the quest for an upgrade continues.
The 42km race began at the National Stadium in Surulere and ended at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island.