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11-Year-Old Girl Finishes 21Km Half-Marathon Race In Ogun

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Eleven-year-old Abigael Ogunbowale on Saturday stole the show at the maiden edition of Ijebu Heritage Half-Marathon as she braved the odds to finish the 21km race at the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.

The young sprinter, a registered marathoner, completed the race to prove her resilience.

She was instantly rewarded with a sum of N250, 000 cash by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rite Foods, Saleem Adegbuwa, a co-sponsor of the race.

Adegbuwa commended Ogunbowale’s courage, adding that she was a beauty to behold as the curtain closed on the race.

 “The courage of the young lad is a beauty to behold, and seeing such a girl competing with established stars in spite of her age was something. We are looking forward to seeing her getting better.

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“As a son of the soil and being involved, I will say it is our thing and is really important that we bring events of this nature home. I mean world-class events like this.

“By DNA in Nigeria, we are good at sports; we just need to harness it so we can go international with it. I was not surprised today to see a 55-year-old and 11-year-old finishing the race,” he said

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Adegbuwa noted that Nigeria was naturally blessed with talents and they would continue to get more backing from his company.

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“We were naturally gifted and we just need to make sure the talents here are well-coordinated.

“We intend to do more in sports, with the Abeokuta Marathon also coming up later in the year, and we are looking forward to more like that,” he added.

Femi Olusanya, a police officer from Ijebu-Ode, came first among the indigenous runners who finished the race.

Kenya’s Hosea Kiplimo won the Half-marathon with the time of 1 hour 02 minutes 36 seconds and got the cash prize of 10,000 dollars.

His compatriot, Rhonzas Kilimo, came second with the time of 1:02:57 for the Prize money of 7,000 dollars.

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Timothy Ronoh, also from Kenya, won the third-place prize with 1:02:59, with Keneth Kiprop in fourth, while John Muriuri came fifth.

In the Female category, Kenya’s Sandra Chebet returned the time of 1:10:42 to emerge winner, while Ethiopians Gebaynesh Ayele and Beyenu Degefa were second and third in 1:10:52 and 1:11:02 respectively.

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