Alessio Punzi, IAAF’s head of marathons and road races, will be in Lagos for the third edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon slated for February 10, 2018.
Punzi manages hundreds of road races and marathons on behalf of IAAF around the world every year.
He assured of his presence at next year’s event in an email sent to Yussuf Alli, General Manager of Access Bank Lagos, on Wednesday.
Punzi wrote: “I shall be happy to be with you all at the Access Bank Lagos Marathon on February 10, 2018.
“I will act as IAAF observer, therefore, we are not appointing a technical delegate; I will carry this out personally. I will love to go on a route tour a day before the race with the elite athletes, and also be a part of the elites’ technical meeting, gear check and meeting with other personnel.
“I am looking forward to meeting representatives from Lagos State, AFN, and sponsors to thank them on behalf of the IAAF for their support for the event. Though my role is mainly technical, I will love to participate in awards ceremonies and the likes.’’
Alli, in response, said it was an excellent development that the head of marathons and road races in IAAF would be in Lagos for the race.
“The head of marathons and road races rarely attends marathons. What he normally does is to send a technical delegate but for Punzi to be coming personally to Lagos, I guess it might not be unconnected with Norrie Williamson’s recommendation that our route is good for the IAAF World Challenge.
“If that is the reason, that will be a good one for Lagos and Nigeria. It will help the local hospitality industry, tourism, and trade. It will also bring the who is who in global athletics and media to Nigeria.’’ Alli noted.
The Lagos City marathon was awarded a bronze recognition by the IAAF this year.