Accra, Sept 25, GNA - Athony Yin, 20, former student of Bompeh Secondary Technical of Tarkoradi joined the elite group of the Accra Milo Marathon winners on Saturday when he produced a last gasps performance to clinch this year's crown at the Dansoman Keep Fit grounds.
It was the young man's third attempt at the zenith after placing 50th and 48th respectively in the previous two events, which also covered 42.2 Kilometres.
His victory would not have been possible but for a monumental gaffe by his runner up Kwadwo Akaba. Akaba had led the race, which began at The Point, Nungua, till he surprisingly stopped at Asoredanho, Dansoman, some few kilometres to the finishing line and only continued after Yin had sped past him.
Akaba, 21, who hails from Mampong in the Ashanti Region and a former student of Osei Tutu Secondary school, also a third time competitor, told the GNA Sports that he pulled a muscle but miraculously recovered to complete the race.
Yin, who became the 18th winner of the event benefited from the absence of treble winner David Zigah to clock 2:22:38 while Akaba forced a "cool" 2:25:18 for the second spot.
The winner will be flown by one of the Sponsors, the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) with partnership from Kenya Airways to compete in next year's Amsterdam Marathon plus a 1000-dollar spending money. He was also presented with products from the main sponsors, Nestle Ghana Limited, producers of Milo food drink and a trophy while his runner up took home 3,000,000 cedis, Milo Products and a fully connected Buzz GSM Mobile phone donated by Millicom Ghana Limited, a new ally of the marathon race.
The third spot went to Yahya Muta, 22, a worker at the Empirical Forex Bureaux Osu in Accra who made a time of 2:29:48. Thirty-two year-old Gladys Adomako of the Prisons service also profited from the absence of the reigning champions Millicent Boadi who together with Zigah are billed to participate in this year's Amsterdam marathon to win the ladies event with a time of an unimpressive time of 3:05:19.
Like her male counterpart, Adomako will be flown to compete in the Amsterdam marathon, a 1000-dollar spending money, a trophy and Milo products.
Close on her heels was Private Esinam Torgbadza of the Ghana Armed Forces with 3:12:20 while one-time Champion Gifty Yaba Koomson placed third.
They received 3,000,000 and 2.5 million cedis respectively plus a fully connected GSM Buzz and Milo products.
Twenty-four year-old, Koosom, past student of Apam secondary school who won the 1996 and 1999 events and a runner up in the last edition, clocked 3:16:18.
In the 15-kilometre under-15 girls race which started from the Kaneshie Sports Complex, 13-year-old Lynda Tiwol from the Kupebga JSS hit 1:01:15 to emerge winner while Winifred Aduoko (1:01:37) of Nyakrem ADA JSS, Agona Nyankrom of the Central Region and Lucy Bado (1;02:54) of Botogyena Methodist Primary of the Wassa District in the Western Region were second and third respectively.
In the boys division, Sulemanu Tettey, 14, of the Future Professional Athletics Club and also a pupil of P.T. E Odartey Lamptey "2" snatched the top spot with 1:01:01.
Thirteen-year-old Quainoo Ransford of Gyeweni L/A JSS of Oda was second with 1:01:13 while James Brown Adireh (1:01:15) of the Northern Region placed third.
The bitter-sweet event in which high profile competitors including last year's runner-up in the mass sport, Joseph Agbesi and Shaibu Mahama of the Ghana Police Service failed to impress.
Agbesi managed an embarrassing 14th position while Mahama who arrived late at the starting point managed fifth position. The Dansoman Keep Fit Ground where the closing ceremony took placed was electrified with the presence of President J. A. Kufuor and spiced with a chorography dance performance on Milo by some selected pupils in the vicinity while, Hip-life sensation Tiny and "Embraye", winners of the Nescafe music talent hunt thrilled the huge crowd.
Prizes were also given to the youngest boy and girl who finished the 15-kilometre race. Kwaku Asiadu Asiaw and Cecilia Bonsuah Daniels, both six years, took home Milo products and bursary from Stanbic Bank, a new partner of the event.
The event was organised by the Dansoman Keep Fit Club and supported by State Insurance Company, Stanbic Bank, Millicom Ghana Limited, operators of Buzz GSM, Latex Foam Company Limited, Dizengoff Limited and Kenya Airways. 25 Sept 04