Lucy Massaquoi, Others Win Olympic Day Run

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Lucy Massaquoi, the 2012 female marathon and the Grand Cape Mount County Meet winner, emerged winner in the 2015 Olympics Day Run which about 89 runners competed on Saturday, June 27.

The Liberian all-time female sprinter, 18, reached the finish-line in 33 minutes 46 seconds.

The 2nd runners-up in the male category of the 2012 marathon, Anis Farah also won first place in the male category. Anis, 20, finished in 30 minutes and 38 seconds

The Olympic Day Run, also known as the 2015 Post Ebola Olympic Day was celebrated under the theme: “Conquerors of Ebola.”

The run was from Nigeria House, Congo Town to the Sports Commission, Broad Street.

Geetak Borbor and Victoria Blamo emerged second and third places respectively in the female category. William Stuart and Harris Melemere won in the male category.

In the active athletes’ race, Massa Mamey, Ejatu Diallo and Miatta Mboka emerged winners in the female category, while Morris Hinneh, Emmanuel and Fahnbulleh Varney won the male category.

For the children’s race, Jernora Neufville, and Branches Tamba won the female category, with only two receiving the cash prizes and other was absent.

Andrew Kpehe, Prince Marchant and Willie Jones were awarded as winners in the male category of the children race.

For the adult race, Samolu Solomon, Liberia’s retired midfield maestro Kelvin Sebwe and Telle Woya emerged winners, while in the physically challenged category, Emmanuel Donge, and Moses Sackie were the winners. The first winners received L$30,000 each; while the second and third winners got L$20,000 and L$10,000 respectively and tee-shirts.

Local Lone Star players participated in the race. Coach James Debbah said their participation was part of their training ahead of the July 5th second leg in Monrovia.

Though, it was a rewarding day’s run for the less than 90 runners which included foreigners, the Daily Observer gathered some administrative mistakes made by the organizers, the Liberia National Olympic Committee, (LNOC).

Firstly, over 300 persons freely registered for the Olympic Day Run, but owing to partial information given to the Liberia National Police, most of the runners were unable to reach the starting point at 7:00am.

At 6:30am, the LNP, diverted cars from Red Light to the 72nd Boulevard and could not reach Congo Town, while there was no commercial car from central Monrovia to Congo town.

The diversion was without prior notice to the runners and it caused many of them not to be present when the run began.

The second mistake – there was only one site for water along the race route, which made some of the runners to slack off. According to our investigation, the shortage of water was owing to partial information given the Liberia Coca Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) – one of the sponsors – to supply sacks of water, instead of bottles of water. The supply of bottles of water was not enough to be distributed along the race route.

Thirdly, over half of the participants complained of the insensitivity of the organizers not to take into consideration souvenirs for all the participants– medals or tee-shirts. They argued that at least a tee-shirt or a medal could show their participation in the race.

Fourth, cries broke out at the Broad Street’s Sports Commission, with three persons accusing the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF) of robbing them of their titles.

A lad, number 0457 in the children’s race wept bitterly because he was cheated and argued that his prize was given to an over-age person.

The president of Conquerors Athletics Club, Jonathan Enders, accused the organizers (LNOC) of wrongly given Madam Branches Tamba the 3rd place prize, instead of the 2nd place prize while the third place winner was left-out.

In the adult race, an aged person, Robein was reportedly among the top three winners, who was left out.

The one-leg physically challenged runners also accused the organizers for their oversight to put them along the wheel-chair physically challenged category.

Race Director, Frederick Krah, who is also Liberia Athletics Federation’s vice president for technical affairs said some of the claims would be used to correct future Olympic Day Runs.

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