Corporal Kassim Mohammed won a very competitive 2015 edition of the Accra Milo Marathon organised by Nestle Ghana Limited on Monday.
Mohammed, a member of the Ghana Armed Forces, finished ahead of Joseph Yandah of the Ghana Police Service in a time of 2 hours 20 minutes.
The mass race covered a distance of 42.2 kilometres and it started from The Point in Nungua and ended at the Dansoman Keep Fit Club.
The 28th edition of the event had about 4,000 people taking part in several races.
The mass and U-15 races were retained but there was a addition to this year’s event which was the Fun Run aimed at getting members of the general public to run 5 kilometres for a worthy cause.
Each finish in the Fun Run would give a child in the country’s hinterlands a pair of footwear.
Army vs Police
With Mohammed and Yandah representing two of Ghana’s major security forces in the Army and Police respectively,the contest for top places was intense.
Mohammed went back to his winning form from two years ago to win the race ahead of Yandah and Malik Yakubu who came in third.
For his efforts, Mohammed won a prize of GHS 15,000 while Yandah and Yakubu took away GHS 5,000 and GHS 3,000 respectively.
18-year old Sakat Lariba from Bolgatanga won the overall winner of the women’s event at the marathon.
Lariba took part in the Ghana Athletics Association’s Open Championships held earlier this year and that proved to be a great learning experience for her as she put together a strong race to finish top of the ladies list.
Six-time winner Millicent Boadi came second second.
Lariba gets GHS15,000 as her prize as Boadi takes GHS5,000.00.
13-year old David Otoo of the Breman Anglican JHS in the Eastern Region won the boys U-15 race in a time of 58 minutes 20 seconds.
He ran a very intelligent race and overtook 14-year old Koogo Atia of Sagadugu R/C School of the Northern Region to win the top prize.
Atia had to settle for second place and a prize of GHS 3,000 while Otoo walked away with GHS 5,000.
In the girls’ race, Nafisatu Sumani of the Dua Nkwanta JHS came first ahead of Mumuni Asibi of the Upper East Region and Deborah Gah of the Greater Accra Region.
Coaches of the various winners were very pleased at seeing their proteges finish with the top prizes after months of intense training and coaching sessions.
David Otoo’s coach Tahiru Hafiz told Citi Sports after the race that he was confident in David’s ability to beat his peers.
“I believed David would win because of his talent. He had it in him to succeed and we trained very well to get here.
I discovered him about two years at a sporting event at Adeiso and I was urged by the Upper West Akyem Sports Coordinator to take him under my wing and groom him.
After that, he took part in some of the competitions in the region. He did very well in those races and so, I decided it time time to try the Accra Milo Marathon.”
He added: ” I knew David was coming from a disadvantaged background and so, I saw the Accra Milo Marathon as a way to give him exposure and to get him to succeed for the sake of his future. I am very concerned about that part of his life.”
Reactions from top finishers
Men’s winner Kassim Mohammed: ” I am very happy with my performance and I was confident of finishing top of the pile.
I felt that I could run a time so good that if anyone wanted to better it, they had to beat me to do it.”
Women’s winner Sakat Laribat:
“I trained for only two weeks for this and see the outcome. My plan was to keep calm and stay close to the leading pack and break away at the appropriate time. I am very pleased with myself especially as it was my first senior marathon.”
Boys U-15 runner up Koogo Atia: ” I did not train very well for this race and it caught up with me during the event. I could not keep my pace going and I was overtaken by the winner (David Otoo).
This year was my second but my improvement over the last twelve months makes me very glad. I was 30th last year and today, I came second.”
Boys U-15 winner David Otoo:
“My coach helped me a lot when we trained for this marathon by telling me to take things easy. That piece of advice helped me especially when I was behind the leader.
Now that I have won, I would like to do more with my long distance ability.”
Girls U-15 winner Nafisatu Sumani:
” I believed I could win this race and so I ran with that motivation. My parents were very supportive and they encouraged to try the marathon.
I would like to tell my age mates especially the females to try their hands at sporting activities.
I love sports too but I would like to be a soldier in future.”
This year’s marathon was dubbed “Every champ starts by taking the first step” and it was to encourage lots of people to take part in the fun run section of the marathon.
The theme was chosen to fall in line Nestle’s belief in promoting a healthy lifestyle among its consumers the world over.
By: Nathan Quao/citifmonline.com/Ghana');