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Egypt, Uganda, Kenya to storm Obudu 2011 - African Mountain Running Championships
Kenya, Uganda and Egypt have all confirmed their participation in both men and women races at the 3rd African Nation's Mountain Running Championships set for November 28 at the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu, Cross River state of Nigeria.
Kenya will be making a third consecutive appearance at the championships which made its debut in 2009 alongside the annual Obudu international mountain race which is in its seventh edition this year.
Interestingly, Kenya, for all her prowess in long distance running including the marathon have not won the African title since the championship was introduced two years ago as part of the Obudu international mountain race.
Also making consecutive appearances are Uganda who dethroned Ethiopia as African champions last year at the championships in India as well as Egypt whose men have failed to make any team impact at the championship, coming last in the first two editions in 2009 and 2010.
According to the Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mrs. Maria Worphil, more African nations are making inquiries about travel and accommodation arrangements and expect more confirmations this week.
"Athletics Nigeria is delighted with the response shown by African nations for this championship.
"Last year we had six nations in the men event and five in the women including the host nation, Nigeria and we are already convinced we will have more African nations this time around as we strive to make mountain running a perennial fixture in the calendar of the African Athletics Confederation," said Worphil, a former national handball star.
Ethiopia, winner of the inaugural edition of the championship tops the list of other nations who have made inquiries about the championships and Mrs. Worphil is full of praise for Cross River Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke for providing the platform to host the rest of Africa
"Our sincere thanks to Governor Imoke for not only continuing with the sponsorship of the Obudu international mountain race started by his predecessor, Donald Duke but for also expanding the scope of the event by including the African Nations mountain running championship.
"The AFN will continue to organize a perfect competition and make Nigeria proud," she added.