Sadjo Ismael on Saturday in Ado-Ekiti won the maiden edition of the Ikogosi-Ekiti 10-kilometre race.
The Cross River–born athlete beat over 2,000 other athletes to the finish line to win the N1 million star prize in an impressive time of 30 minutes 40 seconds.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ismael was trailed by Plateau-born Adamu Mu’azu, who came second with a time of 31 mins 22 secs.
Oyebode Samuel from Osun came third at 31mins 48 secs.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, who was the event’s Special Guest of Honour, later presented the winners with their prizes and congratulated all the participants over their performances.
Fayemi assured that his administration would not only invest in the education and human capital development of the youth.
“We will continue to partner with relevant private sector players in providing the youths the platforms to showcase their God-given talents,’’ he said.
Ismael received a cash prize of N1 million, while the first runner-up got a prize of N500,000 and the second runner-up got N300,000.
NAN reports that the race was flagged off at 9:25 a.m by the Ekiti Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, at Aramoko-Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti-West Local Government Area (LGA), ending at Ikogosi-Ekiti.
There were also winners in the competition’s other categories, with the female elite category being won by Rose Akuso of Plateau State who came first after 36 mins 51 seconds.
Abiye David of Ondo State came second in 36 mins 59 seconds, while Oman Sale also of Plateau came third.
They also won N1 million, N500,000 and N300,000 respectively in cash prizes.
In the female indigene athlete category, Hannah Adewole from Ikere-Ekiti came first by reaching the finish line after 38 mins 49 seconds to win N1 million.
She was followed by Favour Sehinde (43mins 32 seconds) and Fakoyemi Folorunso (44 mins 38 seconds) for the second and third positions respectively.
Others winners in the indigene category were Abolaji Iyanu, who came fourth in 45 mins 74 seconds, and Jumoke Oduluyi who came fifth in 46 minutes 42 seconds.
The rest were Olajumoke Ekundayo (47 minutes 42 seconds), Serah Anyigor (49 minutes 11 seconds), Mary John (49 minutes 36 seconds) and Ajeyomi Bukola (49 minutes 49 seconds).
In the male indigene athlete category, Adewale Shedowo came first after 34 minutes 51 seconds, while Azeez Lawal came second after 35 minutes 16 seconds.
Tunde Arowolo came third with a time of 36 minutes 17 seconds.
NAN reports that 14-year-old Dolapo Morakinyo from Okemesi-Ekiti was apparently the event’s youngest participant, and was the cynosure of all eyes as she got to the finish line
The Ikogosi race was organised by the Ikogosi Marathon Initiative, in partnership with the Ekiti State Government.
More than 5,000 participants had registered for the race online, while about 2,500 of them collected materials which qualified them to take part in the race on Saturday.
(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)