Osheku hails Sports Minister, Sponsors for enabling historic Cross Country race in Jos

Respected athletics coach and coordinator of the first National Cross Country race held last Saturday in Jos, chief Tony Osheku has hailed Sports Minister, Sunday Dare for enabling the historic race.

The race which was in fulfilment of Dare’s promise to develop distance running in Nigeria was held at the Rhino Gold Course in Jos with Kefar Williams and Blessing Solomon emerging champions of the male and female categories.

Osheku also hailed Nilayo Sports Management Limited and Premium Trust Bank for helping to make history on Saturday.

‘Like the athletes said on Saturday, this is the first real cross country race they are participating in and I want to sincerely thank the Sports Minister for pasting smiles on the cheeks of the over 100 top Nigerian elite road runners that ran in the race,’ said Osheku.

The former Nigeria 1500m champion says the Sports Minister has laid the foundation that the athletes are begging must be sustained so that they can be competitive in local and international road races.

‘The winner for the men’s ran 31:38:30 in a very tough terrain. That’s very impressive and it shows the potential we have in road running events in Nigeria.

‘Plateau state and the Mambila area of Taraba state and Obudu in Cross River state are good places to train these athletes.’

Osheku also thanked Bukola Olopade, whose company, Nilayo, together with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as well as Premium Trust Bank sponsored the one day race that had the best of Nigerian distance runners in action.

‘Honourable Olopade and his company, Nilayo and Premium Trust Bank will go down in history as sponsors of the first real cross country race in Nigeria,’ he said.

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