By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh
Englishman Mikey Bryant has won the men’s episode of the 2022 Liberia Marathon race.
The British National, who works as a Physician Assistant (PA) mostly catering to children at ELWA Hospital in Paynesville outside Monrovia won the gold medal of the full Marathon 42.2 Kilometers foot race on Sunday, August 21, 2022, with a dominating performance.
He ran from the starting point at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) Sports Complex in Paynesville through SKD Boulevard- 72nd, to Gardnersville- Japan Freeway, and passing through Sinkor to Congo Town and back to the finishing line, running alone into the Sambadrome, finishing in nearly two hours.
Sierra Leone’s Osman Challey received silver medal and Liberian Alexander Joe Autto, took bronze in humid conditions, becoming the first Liberian to compete in the full Marathon 42.2k foot race.
The 29- year- old athlete, who plays for Hill Social & Athletic club, expressed excitement about being the first Liberian to compete in the full Marathon and claim the third spot, while hoping to climb at the top in subsequent race.
” I’ve been training, to maintain my fitness which brought the success today,” Alexander told the NEW DAWN.” He added: “I then had the chance to take part in the race and so I took the opportunity and saw it as a personal challenge as well, for me to bring proud to Liberia.”
“I also wanted to prove to my family as well, that I am an excellent sportsman and winning the bronze”, Alex continued.
However, British’s Mikey Bryant, 37, a very experienced runner, began to split the field after 30 kilometers, starting with a group of a dozen runners ahead of him that slowly dropped away until he ran the final kilometers alone.
“It was a bit slow, so I decided to take over he said. it was challenging too, because everyone wants a medal. I was coming here for gold, so I decided to go it all out; this wasn’t strange, because I have been exercising,” said Bryant.
Despite being a health practitioner, he had competed in marathons in back England before entering the Liberian Marathon race with a victory.
In previous Marathon appearances, Bryant told the NEW DAWN, it was not strange for him, as he’s competed in 21k meters race before shifting his focus to the longer distance.
More than 2,000 runners participated, including athletes from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Benin, Nigeria, Palestine, Germany, France, Canada, Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa and the UK, drawing together approximately 16 countries competing in the field.
Meanwhile, Theresa Kago, finished as the first-place winner of the Women’s 42.2kilometer footrace, followed by Sierra Leone’s Asatu Turay, who took home silver medal and another Liberian Precious Thomas, collected bronze medal.
For the half Marathon, 21Kilometer foot race, Sierra Leonean Abubakar Conteh, won the first place, Liberian Augustine Momo, received the Silver Medal, while Alpha K. Fofana, again of Sierra Leone took the 3rd place.
Also, the Women’s episode 21k race Famatta Kanneh of Sierra Leone finished third, while her colleagues Fanta Sesay, and Jane Kargo, received Silver and Bronze Medals respectively in all Sierra Leone’s affairs.
In the 10k foot race started from the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Sinkor, Monrovia at 8:15 A.M. to the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville and brought together thousands of runners, mostly Liberians, but Sierra Leone’s John Bunba ran across the finished line to clinch the gold medal, while Mohammed Konneh and John Lacee finished second, and third place winners, respectively.
In the female category, Famatta Kamara received gold medal, Grace Diagor, a Liberian took home silver medal and Jessica Healing won the third place 10k race from JFK to SKD Sports Complex.
In other categories Kemah G. Wolubah, won the top spot for the female crutches 10k race, while Emmanuel B. Nyumah, won the wheelchairs and crutches 10K race.
Swedish Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Urban Sjöström, who participated in the half Marathon 21.2k race, has applauded the Liberia Marathon trust for hosting the competition, which he described as exciting for everyone to remain fit, especially the young individuals.
Ambassador Sjöström assured the Swedish Embassy’s support towards the Liberia Marathon-Trust.
ArcelorMittal Liberia and Lonestar cell MTN, supporting organisers of the events, both appreciated the athletes for participating and reaffirmed their continuous support to the Liberia Marathon Trust.
Marcus Wleh, head of government and community relations, said ArcelorMittal Liberia remained a strong partner of the Liberia Marathon-Trust and thanked the athletes for competing, which he said helps promotes the younger ones to keep fit.
“In the past decade, the Liberia Marathon races had been instrumental in fostering a running culture in Liberia across all genders, ages, and skill levels,” the organizers said.
The inclusive race, which is Liberia’s only official Marathon, is held annually to showcase Liberian athletes; it provides a running opportunity for everyone and welcomes runners from around the world.
Charles D. Cooper, Chairman of the Board, Liberia Marathon Trust and Co-Founder of the Liberia Marathon, thanked everyone for taking part in the event, as he encourages others to join the race.
Winner Mikey Bryant walked away with cash prize of 1,000 United States dollars, while Second and Third place winners received US$500 and $300 respectively. Other winners and runners also received little tokens, including gifts and medals.