World marathon record holder, Haile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia, is scheduled to arrive the country Thursday and would make a star appearance at this year’s Glo Lagos International Half Marathon coming up on Saturday in Lagos.
Globacom marathon office, which released Gebreselassie’s activities while in the country, stated that the diminutive long distance runner would meet with marathon officials and will also spare time to interact with the press on arrival at the airport.
The fastest long distance runner, who arrived the country, will pair with three-time world Half Marathon record holder, Lornah Kiplagat of Netherlands, to hold an educative and inspirational clinic for young upcoming athletes on the eve of the half Marathon in Lagos.
Meanwhile, athletes across the country including Nigeria’s elite runners have started arriving for the marathon event with the hope of winning the star prizes (Picanto car) designated for only Nigerian runners.
Wilson Ekuh, Danjuma Gyang, Danjuma Kupkkudi and others have arrived Lagos for the event. Beaming with optimism, the athletes are looking forward to meeting Ethiopia’s long distance gem for vital information at the clinic billed for Friday in Lagos.
Danjuma, in a statement, noted that he has not come close to Gebreselassie and relish the opportunity to see and listen to what he has to say during the seminar.
"I am so happy that someone like that will be coming to teach us some lessons in marathon. I have not seen him at a close range before, this is the opportunity I have to meet him and listen to him."
On his expectations in the Glo-Lagos half marathon, Kupkkudi said, "this year’s prize is good and hopes that he would go back to Jos, Plateau State with one of the Picanto cars at the end of the event.
On what he expects from the invited foreign elite runners, Ekuh said, the Nigerian runners will once more follow the visitors stride for stride with hope to even the race at some point but of interest will be the seminar to be conducted by Gebreselassie.
"Winning is important but getting the strategy to win always is more important, I would be listening to the big masquerade (Gebreselassie) for some tips on how to win marathon races, I believe it would help me a lot."