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ECOWAS Abuja International Marathon: Nigerian elite runners chase $10,000 top prize

The highly anticipated ECOWAS Abuja International Marathon, slated for December 16, 2023, has attracted a formidable lineup of Nigeria’s top athletes, all vying for their share of the impressive prize pool.

The December race, featuring both a half marathon and a 5km road race, offers enticing cash prizes for top finishers, with the half marathon winner taking home a staggering $10,000.

Leading the charge of Nigerian athletes hoping to outshine their counterparts from across the sub-region is the trio of Mu’azu Adamu Shehu, Gyang Emmanuel, and Ismail Sadjo.

Adam Shehu, Gyang, and Sadjo are among the cream of Nigeria’s elite runners, and they are all eager to pocket the $10,000 top prize up for grabs in the men’s half marathon category.

Fondly referred to as Shagari, Adamu Shehu has excelled in numerous road races across Nigeria, including the Lagos City Marathon where he finished as the best local runner in the 2022 edition.

Gyang has also paid his dues with impressive performances at the Lagos City Marathon and the Okepepe 10km race, where he is the reigning Nigerian champion.

Sadjo is fresh from his triumph at the Warri Effurun Peace Marathon and is hoping to end the year on a high with another victory at the ECOWAS Abuja International Marathon.

It is expected that the likes of Okot Friday, Joshua Dalyop Stephen, Pam James Paul, Auta Monday Jigak, and Yohanna Friday, among others, will also ruffle feathers at the December 16 race.

In a similar vein, a close contest is also anticipated in the women’s category, where old-war horse Pam Deborah will be running against the likes of Nuhu Elizabeth.

Aside from winning multiple road races across Nigeria, Pam is also a multiple Nigerian 5,000 and 10,000m champion, and she hopes to make it a memorable yuletide season with the princely ECOWAS prize monies.

Nuhu has often given Pam a run for her money at every race they find themselves in, but many believe the ECOWAS Abuja International Marathon will not be about these two as many other budding athletes have also confirmed their participation.

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