Haile Gebrselassie to launch Millennium Marathon in Ghana

Ethiopian Marathon legend Haile Gebrselassie is expected in Ghana on March 10th, 2015 to launch the first ever international marathon in Ghana.

The event is slated for the Accra metropolis and would would attract over 15,000 local and international runners.

According to the organisers, Millennium Marathon Sports Limited, the event will solicit support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ethiopian Embassy in Ghana and other stake holders.

Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive is among top officials that the two time Olympic gold medalist will meet whilst in Ghana.

He hinted that the race would start from the Independence Square through the La Beach road, Burma Camp, National Theatre, Ridge, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and back to the finishing line at the Independence Square.

“The course will be one of the fastest marathons in Africa, because of the short distance of the race and would make it ideal and popular for world champions like Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia and for those wishing to take part in the New York and Boston marathons in the United States,” he said.

Dr Vanderpuije said the marathon race would be an annual world class sports and tourists’ event in Ghana to create fun and healthy events among families and communities while raising money for charity.

The Accra Mayor who will compete alongside the international athletes expressed happiness of the positive economic benefits that the local economy and businesses would derive from the Millennium Marathon and the international exposure that the country would get as the event attracts live international media coverage.

“In a bid to develop world class runners in Ghana to compete better in the Olympics and international running tournaments, training camps will be setup for sports enthusiasts to enroll and to boost the sports regimen in our young and future runners.”

The Accra Mayor said the marathon would also promote healthy living lifestyles to avoid diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart attacks and strokes.

He said the host company; Millennium Marathon Sports Limited has invited cultural groups from Ethiopia to perform alongside local ones to welcome runners.

Meanwhile, a planning committee for the event has met at the Ministry of Youth & Sports to make sure the programme is launched and organised very well for the International Athletics Federation to recommend Ghana to stage an annual Marathon.

Ambassador Ashim Morton, Managing Partner of the event told yours truely it is to promote healthy living, tourism and trade in Ghana. He expressed that Ghana was chosen for the marathon because of the rich history of nation both politically and on the level of sports, tourism and business destination.

Deepika Sharma, the Chief Coordinator of the event noted that she expects many people to participate and and called on the security agencies, media and health officials to support the programme on September 6th, 2015.

By Sammy Heywood Okine

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