Kefas Williams and Blessing Sshambor Solomon, two runners from the Plateau State, have won the Jos Cross Country, the first-ever cross-country race in Nigeria sponsored by Nilayo Sports Management Limited.
Kefas finished first among men in 31 minutes, 38 seconds. He received a cash award of $300.
Stephen Joshua, who finished in second place, did it in 31 minutes, 28 seconds. He received N200,000.
Emmanuel Gyang, who finished in third position, did so in 32 minutes, 01 seconds. He received N100,000.
The men’s race was so fiercely fought that elite Nigerian athletes took first place through sixth place.
Paul James Pam (32:39:08), Solomon Nyango (33:19:69), James Gyang Gwon (33:25:93), Simon Markus (33:26:10), Nyango Gyang (33:31:49), and Iliya Pam (33:39:69) were among the pre-event favorites who ran 33 minutes or less.
Pam, led the field for four lapses out of five, only to be overtaken by Solomon in the fifth lap. The Plateau state athlete didn’t look back to cross the finish line at 38minutes 36:12 seconds. She got N300,000.
Pam, who finished at 38minutes 47:37 seconds blamed fatigue from road travel from Lagos as hindrance. She got N200,000.
In third place was Grace Dalum, who finished at 39minutes 10:91 second. She got cash prize of N100,000.
Winners from the 4th place to 10th positions all got cash prizes from the sponsors, Nilayo Sports Management Limited. A total N2million cash prizes was shared among the winners.
The Zonal Coordinator, North Central in the Sports Ministry, Mrs. Deborah Pitman represented the Honourable Minister of Sports at the event.
All the Elite runners that participated in the Jos Cross Country Championship together with the event’s Coordinator, Chief Tony Osheku, commended the Managing Director of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, Chief Bukola Olopade, for sponsoring the Jos Cross Country competition, which has opened the eyes of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, and indeed the Sports Ministry to host a championship that would benefit the fortunes of Nigeria long distance performances in international races.