When over 40,000 fun runners lined up together to participate in the 10km Race of the 2020 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, virtually nobody would have predicted that a 13-year old from Jos, Plateau State, would emerge as the winner in the female category.
Vera Yohanna Davou a 13-year old JSS Three Pupil of the Victory Academy High School Jos surprised everyone and even herself to win this year’s 10km women’s race.
In exchange for her efforts and doggedness, Ms Davou was presented with a Kia Rio saloon car on Monday by the organisers of the silver-labelled Lagos race.
For Ms Davou, who treks several kilometres daily to school, winning a car at her young age is more than a motivation for her to do more and take running even more seriously with a view of making a career off it.
“I will even advise my friends to start training and running because I never expected I will be where I am now, I have just been training for one year and through the help of God and the Holy Spirit, I have won a race and a car” Ms Davou told journalists as she was handed her key and car papers in the company of her excited father and coach.
Interestingly, it was another teenager, Oyebode Sunday, who emerged tops in the men’s category. He was also presented with a Kia Rio saloon car.
Mr Oyebode, a fun runner and a student of United Anglican Methodist High School revealed before coming to win in Lagos, he had tried out at the 10km Abeokuta Road race also sponsored by Access Bank but he finished then in distant 9th position.
The CEO of Nilayo Sports Management company, Bukola Olopade, said he was delighted that the Lagos race is making huge impacts in the life of people and he thanked the sponsors; especially Kia Motors for coming through with the saloon cars for the winners.
He said: “For us, we have shown the public that we (would) always keep to our promise and do as we say while for our sponsors, they can trust us that whatever we get from them is channelled to the right directions.”
Mr Olopade, a former commissioner of sports in Ogun State assured that his drive to change people’s lives for the better with sports will continue to be pushed vigorously with platforms like the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Already in its fifth year, the Lagos Marathon is hoping for another upward movement from its present Silver Label ahead of the 2021 edition tentatively billed for February 13, 2021.