World champion Paul Kosgei of Kenya won the inaugural MTN Lagos International Half Marathon November 23rd in Nigeria. His winning time: one hour, three minutes, 50 seconds. Another Kenyan, John Korir, was second, clocking one hour, three minutes, 53 seconds. Tanzania’s Joseph Fabian placed third, with a time of one hour, four minutes.
The 24-year-old Kosgei was the pre-race favorite. He was rewarded with a medal and a top prize of $15,000. Korir got a medal and $10,000, while Fabian received a medal and $5,000.
Kosgei said the hot weather in Lagos prevented him from running a faster time. The temperatures were already into the 30s with high humidity at the 8:30 a.m. local start time. The Kenyan champion praised the organizers, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, for putting on a good race.
More than 16,000 runners participated in the 21.1 kilometer race, which was started by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was in Lagos on a working visit. Telecommunications company MTN, the official sponsor of the event, said the race would become a full marathon next year.