The General Manager of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Yusuf Alli, has urged Nigerian elite runners participating in the 2021 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to emulate Japanese Kengo Suzuki who on Sunday February 28, 2021 crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 56 seconds to win the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, setting a new national record.
Alli also promised to personally reward for any Nigerian runner that sets a new record at the 2021 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon. Suzuki broke the previous record of 2:05:29 set by Suguru Osako at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon.
Alli, who broke the Commonwealth, Africa and Nigeria record in long jump as an athlete, said it is disheartening that Nigerian elite runners are not taking advantage of the quality of international elite runners participating at the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to improve their performances and break records,
“About 14 runners ran inside 2hours 10 minutes at the 2020 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, breaking our course record of 2hours and 15 minutes but sadly none of them is a Nigerian,” he said.
“Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has shown that there is money to be made as a professional runner. All our athletes need is to follow the money.
“When President Ibrahim Babangida announced the incentives for gold medalists at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, I left my base in Missouri, United States to train in Bauchi, I even hired a coach. My reward was not just a gold medal and Commonwealth record but thousands of dollars from Babangida, a house and a street was named after m