Accra, Sept 24, GNA - For 18-year old Godwin Adukpo, the adage that says, "if you try once and you don't succeed, try again" remained the sole inspiration that propelled him to fame on Saturday when he defied the odds to win the prestigious Accra Milo Marathon race on his third attempt.
With a time of 2. 29.29, Adukpo, a form two student of Anlo Secondary School in the Volta Region emerged the winner of the 19th edition of the competition with an amazing stamina, which saw him dump regular winner David Zigah with 15 kilometres left to the finish line. After trailing Zigah who was making an appearance after missing out of the last edition following his participation in the last year's Amsterdam Marathon competition for considerable period, the youngster who placed 30th and 7th respectively in his previous attempts, exhibited an incredible stamina and for the first time in the race overtook him around the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
The victor rode high from the cheers of the enthusiastic admires in a dramatic form to go ahead to widen the gap from the rest of the competitors with a considerable speed.
With a consistent speed, Adukpo maintained his composure to ensure that he arrived almost seven minutes ahead of Victor Ashiagbor of the Ghana Armed Forces who came second with a time of 2.36.47. With only few laps to go, the 18-year old Adukpor raised his hands in the air in an obvious appreciation to God and acknowledged the cheers from the onlookers before crossing the line to end the 42 kilometre race with sheer ecstasy.
Zigah who remained buoyant about his chances prior to the competition and was favoured by pundits could only manage a time of 2.37.12, a minute short behind the Armed Forces Ashiagbor.
Adukpo would therefore be representing Ghana at the next Amsterdam scheduled for next month with regular female competitor, Millicent Boadi, 23 from the Customs Exercise and Preventive Service (CEPS) who topped the women's category with a time of 2.44. The round trip to be sponsored by the Royal Dutch Airlines ( KLM) would be Boadi's third in succession after her previous participation with Zigah, whilst the 18-year old student makes his debut in the male category.
Like Adukpo, Boadi took home a trophy, two cartons of Milo, a sports bag, a Milo branded T-Shirt plus a whooping 1,000 dollars spending money for the Amsterdam competition.
Gifty Ama Koomson of Prison Service and Private Torgbor Esinam of the Ghana Armed Forces managed a time of 3.00.49 and 3.1200 respectively to finish in that order in the women's division.
The second placed winners, Ashiakpor and 21-year old Koomson took home a carton Milo, a fully connected mobile phone from Buzz, a sports bag, a Milo branded T-shirt plus three million cedis cash prizes in the boys and girls categories.
Third placed Zigah and Esinam both 26, recieved 2.5 million cedis each cash prize, a fully connected mobile phone from Buzz, a carton of Milo, T-Shirt and a sports bag for their efforts.
Having being adjudged the Best Athlete in a special Inter Schools and Collages competition after emerging victor in the 1,500, 5,000 and cross country competitions, Adukpor told the GNA Sports " I knew from within that I could finish tops this year with more effort, hard work and determination".
He said like any champion, his target was to pip the "King of the race" Zigah, saying "since he remained my target, I ensured I followed him closely right from the onset until I was convinced I could overtake him when he got to Circle".
Zigah could not hide his disappointment when he spoke with the look like an impossibility.
I had less time to train like I used to and I'm very convinced that attributed to my performance today".