A. Quansah, GNA
Accra, Sept. 21, GNA – Malik Yakubu who hails
from the Ashanti Region defied all odds to beat defending champion Kassim
Mohammed in a distance of 42.2km to emerge winner of the 29th edition
of the Milo Marathon held on Wednesday.
The annual race dubbed ‘‘Every champion begins
with a first step’’ which started at the Nungua Barrier and ended at the
Dansoman Keep fit Club saw the civilian, who placed third last year finished
first in a time of 2:22.46 dethroning Mohammed who ran 2:22.59 with Joseph
Yandal occupying the third position.
The Millennium Marathon winner took an
impressive lead midway through the race and maintained his composure and pace
to become the new marathon King.
For his feat, Yakubu went home with GH¢15,000.00,
a trophy, several boxes of Voltic Mineral water and products from Nestle Ghana.
Mohammed and Yandal received GH¢5,000.00 and GH¢3,000.00 respectively plus
products from Voltic Mineral water and Nestle Ghana.
In the Women’s mass sports category which
covered the same distance, 19 year old Elizabeth Azuure, a student of the
Navrongo Senior High School brushed aside competition from last year’s winner
Sakat Lariba and Elizabeth Bortso to win the category.
The winner, first runner-up and second
runner-up bagged GH¢15,000.00, GH¢5,000.00 and GH¢3,000.00 cash prizes plus
souvenirs and products from sponsors.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of marathon,
the Managing Director of Nestlé Ghana Mrs. Freda Duplan said “Nestlé Milo, the
Energy Food Drink of Future Champions continues to inspire the youth of Ghana
to get into sports as we believe that sport has a unique ability to help
instill life values such as hard work, responsibility, fair play, discipline,
perseverance and team spirit.
‘‘These values are found on the field of play
and in sporting activities like the Accra Milo Marathon which we are proud to
be associated with for the past twenty-nine year. As a brand, Milo was recently
awarded for quality and safety as a proudly made-in-Ghana product, made from
the locally sourced cocoa powder from Ghana”.
She congratulated the winners and the
participants for the feat chalked.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Edwin Nii
Lantey Vanderpuye said the Marathon in the past produced champions that won
laurels for the country at the international level and that games at the
schools and colleges level would be revived to comprehensively develop sports
across the country.
He called on corporate entities to assist in
reviving colts football as well as other sporting disciplines. “It is a pity to
see Ghana participate at international competitions without winning medals but
government cannot do it alone and would require support from corporate Ghana,”
He also congratulated the winners and sponsors
for their efforts adding that the winners would be considered in their plans towards
2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Milo products were presented to the first 20
runners while other participants also received certificates of participation.
About 9,000 runners participated in the main
42.2km mass race while the fun race also saw over thousand runners
The non-competitive race introduced last year
would see Nestle Ghana providing 40,000 shoes to the needy in selected schools
across the country.
The shoes will be distributed in collaboration
with Ghana Education Services in selected districts across all ten regions of
Ghana in November 2016.