Accra, Sept. 25, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Saturday said the Marathon race was an ideal event in the promotion of sports, good health and productivity.
He said it also contributed to the happiness and harmony of society.
President Kufuor made the observation at the presentation of awards during this year's Accra Milo Marathon at the Dansoman Keep Fit Club. The 42.2 kilometres mass sport begun from The Point, Nungua in Accra through some principal streets of Accra to the Dansoman Keep-fit Grounds.
The 15-kilometre race for the under-15 began at the Kaneshie Sports Stadium and ended at the same venue. This year's event being the 18th edition to be sponsored by the Nestle' Ghana Limited and other institutions was the 20th to be organized by the Club.
President Kufuor said it was gratifying that the youth were also participating actively in the event in increasing numbers. He said through the marathon, the nation discovers new talents every year for further development to feed the national team for international competitions.
President Kufuor commended the participants in this year's marathon and expressed the hope that they would sustain the discipline, sportsmanship and training that had enabled them to participate successfully.
He said with the increase in cocoa production, Nestle' was expected to purchase higher tonnage of cocoa beans for local processing and export.
He said it would also serve as a booster to the Government's policy of adding value to agricultural produce and other raw materials. "May Nestle' also consider to brand Ghana's premium cocoa through its products", he added.
He pledged the Government's support to Nestle' and urged them to continue to be good corporate citizen in Ghana.
President Kufuor presented a trophy and a KLM ticket to a 20-year-old Anthony Yin a student of Bompeh Secondary Technical in Takoradi winner of the event to participate in next year's Marathon competition in Amsterdam.
Master Yin also received 1,000 dollars spending money and other products from the sponsors.
Master Kwadwo Akaba 21, from Osei Tutu Secondary School, Asante Akropong was second, while Mr Muta Yahya, 22, a staff of the Emperial Forex Bureaux at Osu, Accra, placed third.
In the women's division, President Kufuor presented a trophy and a KLM ticket to the winner Miss Gladys Adoma, 32 of the Ghana Prisons Service to participate in the Amsterdam marathon next year. In addition, she had 1,000 dollars spending money and other products from the sponsors.
Private Esinam Torgbadza 24, of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), came second and Miss Gifty Yaba Koomson 20, a former student of Apam Senior Secondary School, placed third.
The Main sponsors, Nestle Ghana Limited, producers of Milo food drink, provided one billion cedis towards the event and were supported by the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) and the State Insurance Company (SIC), official insurers of the competition.
Other sponsors were Stanbic Bank, Millicom Ghana Limited, operators of Buzz GSM, Latex Foam Company Limited, Dizengoff Limited and Kenya Airways.
The reigning champion David Zigah since 2001 and who is preparing for this year's Amsterdam marathon did not participate in the event.