Category Archives: Athletics

2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Olude Fadekemi Vows To Reclaim Title

After being beaten to the first position among Nigerian (female) runners at the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Olude Fadekemi has vowed to reclaim her crown at next month’s race.

Olude who is the current National Record holder in the 20km Walk Race finished as the number one Nigeria woman at the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, but she dropped to second place in 2018; losing the crown to Deborah Pam.

To reclaim the number one position at the 2019 Marathon, Olude revealed that she has since stepped up her training schedule and she is equally working extra hard to ensure that she comes tops this term.

“I was not too happy that I could not defend my title last year, I only finished in second place but this year I want the first position again, “she said in a statement issued by Olukayode Thomas, Head Media and Communications for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

Olude who had a memorable 2018 in which she represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and also emerged as a gold medal winner at the National Sports Festival among many other accomplishments said she is keen to start 2019 brightly with a win at the Lagos Marathon.

“The year 2018 was very good for me but of course I want 2019 to be better starting with the Lagos Marathon, I will also be competing at the All African Games and many other competitions this year,” Olude revealed.

Olude Fadekemi

Asked who her major threat could be at the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Olude identified Deborah Pam as her major threat but promised to give her a run for her money this year.

As a means of encouraging Nigerian runners, organisers of the Acess Bank Lagos City Marathon has always had in place a separate prize category to reward the local runners outside the general prizes for all runners from across the world.



A new meeting in Nanjing, China, is among the key changes to the IAAF World Challenge calendar for 2019.

Nanjing, the host city of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the 2020 IAAF World Indoor Championships, will stage an IAAF World Challenge meeting at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on 21 May.

The Grande Premio Brasil de Atletismo in Bragança Paulista has moved from 18 May to 28 April to avoid clashing with the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai and the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Osaka.

It also means that the IAAF World Challenge will start in Brazil for the first time in the 10-year history of the circuit, helping to establish a better rhythm and frequency in the calendar.

Meanwhile, the Meeting Madrid will not be part of the IAAF World Challenge this year.

Beatrice Chepkoech
© Kirby Lee

2019 IAAF World Challenge calendar

28 Apr – Bragança Paulista, Brazil
4 May – Kingston, Jamaica
19 May – Osaka, Japan
21 May – Nanjing, China
9 Jun – Hengelo, Netherlands
11 Jun – Turku, Finland
20 Jun – Ostrava, Czech Republic
1 Sep – Berlin, Germany
3 Sep – Zagreb, Croatia


2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Runners Begin Collection Of Kits At Tafawa Balewa Square

The Cricket Oval of the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos Island has been a beehive of activities since the distribution of running kits and goodie bags to registered runners for the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon began at the venue on Monday.

Yussuf Alli, the General Manager for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, explained that the opening of another channel of distribution for kits to intending runners was introduced in order to make things easier.

The Marathon boss while applauding the turnout in the first two days of the distribution exercise at the TBS enjoined other members of the public that have registered for the race not to wait till the final minute before going for the collection of their kits.

“We have started the channel in Lagos Island for intending runners to pick up their kits and goodie bag at the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval.”

“This has started since Monday and it has eased things for those coming from the Island axis. In the form, it was indicated that people should pick where they want to collect their kits and goodie bags; whether the Mainland or Island and a good number picked the Island, so we have opened that channel, so I enjoin people to go and collect on time.” Alli said.

Aside from the distribution of kits which is also taking place at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon GM also gave assurances that other preparations were going on smoothly to ensure that the February 2 races (10km and 42km) were a huge success.

He said: “We are very well on course to staging another world-class marathon this year even better than the ones we have done before.

“We are fine-tuning everything now, from the start point, route and also the finish point that gave us small problems last year we have made the necessary corrections and additions.”

It is understood that almost 150, 000 from across the world will be taking part in the 4th edition of the Bronze- labelled Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: 35 Gold Label, 13 Silver Label Runners Enter For Race

The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is attracting growing interest across the world each year and a testament to that is reflected in the number of high-profile runners competing for honours annually in Lagos.

For the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, as much as 35 Gold, 13 Silver and 12 Bronze Labelled Runners have already registered to be part of the event.

Yusuf Alli, the General Manager for the Lagos Marathon, expressed delight at the interest being shown by the big names to run at the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

Alli noted that the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has surpassed the requirement for a Bronze Label and has done enough to earn even a Gold Label from the IAAF/AIMS.

“This is fantastic, it is obvious that top runners across the world like the Lagos Marathon as they have been signifying their interests from Kenya to even Australia,” Alli stated.

The former Africa record holder in the Long Jump event predicted that a new course record might be set at this year’s marathon due to the stronger field of athletes that would be on parade.

“This year’s marathon will definitely be better than the previous ones, the quality of elite athletes coming have improved a great deal, so we are confident of a good show,” the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon General Manager assured.

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Among many other big names, David Barmasai Tumo from Kenya who won the 2011 Dubai Marathon will be competing at the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

Also, his compatriots, Jacob Kibet Chulyo, Moses Kigen Kipkosgei are in the mix for action as well as Samuel Gebremichael who now does his thing for Australia.

The female field also boasts of some of the top runners in the world including the likes of Agnes Jeruto Kiptocich who finished as runners up in the 2017 Paris Marathon.

Caroline Cheptanui Kilel winner of the 2011 Boston Marathon, as well as Georgina Rono and Risper Jemeli Kimayo, are all pencilled down to run at the Lagos Marathon.

The 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will take place on Saturday, February 2.


Leading international athletes have welcomed the addition of two exciting new events to the programme for the IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019.

A mixed 2x2x400m relay and mixed shuttle hurdles relay have been added to the programme of events. Joining the men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m and the mixed 4x400m, it means there will now be three men’s events, three women’s events and three mixed events being contested on the weekend of 11-12 May.

The mixed shuttle hurdles event is a completely new addition to the World Relays programme. Usually held as a single-sex race, the event in Yokohama will feature two men and two women on each team.

photo credit: Eckhard Pecher (Arcimboldo) – Eigenes Werk

The men will run 110m hurdles in one direction and will then hand over to the first woman on the team, who will run back up the straight to hand over to the second man, and so on. To account for the extra distance, women will run out an extra 10 metres at the end of their leg.

“I’m excited that the hurdles can be part of a relay,” said world 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson. “I always enjoy participating in the traditional relays and now that my own event can be incorporated into a team event, it makes the World Relays even more enticing!

“I’m still on the comeback trail from my achilles injury that ruled me out of the Commonwealth Games last year and so I haven’t decided when I’ll make my return yet,” added the 2012 Olympic champion. “It all depends on what the body decides. If I can make the IAAF World Relays a part of my pre-World Championships schedule, I’ll be one excited athlete – especially now that the hurdles is featuring!”

US indoor champion Sharika Nelvis is excited by the prospect of being able to compete at the World Relays.

“This is super great news,” said Nelvis. “I’ve always wanted to be in a shuttle hurdles relay. Hopefully this opens the door to it being in the Olympics one day in the future, but it being at the World Relays is a great start. And it should be fun!”

European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde also backs the new additions.

© Jean-Pierre Durand

“I’ve always been a little envious because I could never take part in a sprint relay,” said the French sprint hurdler. “But now that the IAAF is introducing the shuttle hurdles relay, the world is in for a great show. It’s going to be fantastic and you can count on me!”

The mixed 2x2x400m, a form of an endurance relay event, requires both members of the team to run two 400m legs of a relay. As with the mixed 4x400m, each team can choose to start with a man or the woman. The athletes then take it in turns to run their two legs of the relay.

Inspired by a mixed relay event introduced to biathlon in recent years, the 2x2x400m replaces the 4x800m relay, which proved to have limited appeal at previous editions of the World Relays.

“I like the idea of this relay because it’s comparable to the 800m,” said European 800m champion Adam Kszczot. “I love it actually.

“I like the fact that both men and women get to compete together,” he added. “I was speaking to Justyna Swiety-Ersetic, who won the European 400m gold and 4x400m gold in a short space of time. This relay is quite similar to what she did and we would both love to be involved.”

USA’s world indoor finalist Raevyn Rogers feels it will be an attractive prospect for both 400m and 800m runners.

photo credit: Beat Kueng

“This relay will really highlight the talent of being a middle-distance runner,” she said. “Being a mixed relay makes it more exciting because essentially you’ll have the best runner in each event, whether it’s a top female or male 800m runner or 400m runner.”

IAAF President Sebastian Coe is excited to see how the new events will unfold in Yokohama.

“The IAAF World Relays is our youngest World Athletics Series event and it was designed to be fun for our athletes and fans so it’s the perfect place to try new formats,” said Coe. “I’ve been championing innovation in our sport since I took the reins so it’s great to see the addition of a dynamic relay that will showcase our sprint hurdlers and I’ll be fascinated to see how the mixed 2x2x400m relay unfolds as a new endurance event that has never been tried before in athletics. I’m sure that both will contribute to the youthful, energetic atmosphere of the event, which we’re confident will be a resounding success in our new host city Yokohama in May.”


Media Marathon Committee Meets Tandoh, Solicits Lagos Support

Members of the Lagos Media Marathon Committee on Tuesday paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission Dr Kweku Tandoh.

Among other things, the visit was mainly to solicit support from Lagos State towards the success of the maiden media marathon in Nigeria slated for May 1, 2019.

The Lagos Media Marathon delegation was led by the chairman of its Organising Committee, Tony Ubani.

Others in the delegation include Debo Oshundun, the Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria SWAN, Lagos branch as well as Adekunle Salami, Tosin Omoniyi and Tunde Eludini.

The delegation through its chairman, Ubani formally requested for permission from the Lagos State Government to use the already mapped out route for the Media Marathon which is expected to take runners from Anthony Oke opposite TREM to Oshodi, Charity through the new ten-lane international airport expressway to the nation’s best bus terminus, Ikeja Bus Terminus.

The Media Marathon delegation also sought for other assistance from the Lagos State government and His Excellency Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the area of logistics, security, and general welfare.

“We are very grateful to Governor Ambode for all he has done for sports during the last four years; especially the revival he has brought to long-distance running in Nigeria. The Media Marathon is one of the things we are planning to use to say a big thank you to our amiable governor” Ubani stated.

He added: “Our plan for the Media Marathon is to also use it to further showcase the massive developmental projects that Gov. Ambode has done in Lagos especially on the route we selected”.

The Chairman of the Lagos Media Marathon Committee said it was necessary for journalists and indeed the public to give a closer look at their health and fitness which is one of the things the Media Marathon will be addressing.

Dr Kweku Tandoh receives media marathon committee members

Tandoh told the committee members that will pass their letter to His Excellency.

The Lagos Media Marathon is slated for May 1, 2019, the 10km and the 5km race is open to all journalists, and other members of the media family in public relations, advertising, and others in the allied industry and students.

Members of the public are also free to register for the race.

But unlike stakeholders in the media and communications and students, who will not pay a registration fee, participants in the 10km race will pay a registration fee of N2500 and those interested in the 5km will pay N2000.


The IAAF and the International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM) today announced a new partnership designed to enhance the safety of participants in all IAAF Label road races by ensuring the highest quality medical support is available to the event organisers.

The IAAF and the IIRM have signed a Memorandum of Understanding through which they will jointly develop training courses and seminars for medical directors of marathons and other endurance races over the next two years.

The IIRM, whose members include the medical directors of the world’s largest marathons, is the global expert body on medical science related to health and safety at endurance events.

The two organisations will combine to organise regular seminars and educational courses for medical directors and other healthcare professionals at races and events around the world to enhance the medical services provided.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: “More people run than do any other sport combined on the planet, and tens of thousands of people participate in some of our road running events. We want to make sure that runners know which races are licensed by the IAAF so they can be sure they are good quality races that follow the governing body’s guidelines. This agreement will help us to set further standards and share expertise with medical professionals working at endurance events all over the world. We’re delighted to tap into the extensive knowledge of the IIRM and we expect the outcome will be a safer environment for all participants in our sport, from casual runners to the very elite.”


The Chairman of the board of IIRM, Stuart Weiss, MD said: “The International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM) is immensely proud to be partnering with the IAAF to make endurance events safer for the athlete participants. It is a natural fit to add the broad medical expertise within the IIRM to the excellent work that is being done by the IAAF. Together, we can strive to keep endurance athletes safe and healthy, as well as those who compete in track and field championship events. We look forward to a long lasting collaborative relationship with the IAAF.”

The IAAF will make contact with medical directors via race organisers initially, but will also give notice of future seminars and courses through its website. The first course is expected to be scheduled for April this year.

IAAF Label Road Races