The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) President, Bruno Gozzelino, has confirmed that he would be at the 6th Obudu International Mountain Race on November 27 to offer technical support to the race's Local Organising Committee (LOC) at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu, Cross River state, Nigeria.
Gozzelino said he has conveyed his desire to be at the Obudu Ranch Resort, to the LOC.
"The race is an important event in the calendar of the WMRA because it has helped to draw African athletes to the race in large numbers.
"Prior to the race, African athletes have not been competing in the WMRA Grand Prix series and the World Championships," he said.
Meanwhile, the LOC has confirmed 69 foreign athletes and 122 local athletes for the race.
Top on the list of athletes confirmed for the November 27 race are the women's defending champion, Mamitu Daska from Ethiopia; reigning World Mountain running champion, Andrea Mayr of Austria who won the women's title in 2008; and another former champion, Rehima Kedir of Ethiopia.
Also confirmed for the race is the reigning European mountain running champion, Ahmet Arslan of Turkey.
William Archibong, chairman of the LOC for the race revealed at the weekend in Calabar that registration for the event has also been closed except for African countries wishing to participate in the second African Nations Mountain Running championship, which will take place alongside the Obudu international mountain race on November 27.
"Registration for the 6th Obudu international mountain race has closed. We have been able to register 122 local athletes and 69 foreign athletes out of the over 1,500 entries we received," said Archibong.
"It was not easy to prune the number down to 69 for the foreign athletes but we had to do it because we wanted a number we can conveniently cope with bearing in mind that registration for the African Nations mountain running championships is still on with the Athletic Federation of Nigeria," he said adding that the LOC registered the best mountain runners in the world for the race.
"The cast we will have in Obudu come November 27 is the best you can find in any mountain race anywhere in the world. This is not just the highest paying mountain race in the world, it is also one where the quality of participants is unrivalled."
Additional contents by Tunde Eludini/NEXT