Three times winner of the Mt. Cameroon Race of Hope, Eric Mbacha on Saturday, finished the 42 kilometre course in Finland in exactly 2 hours 24 minutes and 40 seconds.
In delight over winning the Helsinki marathon in the capital of the Northern European country, he professed “I’m back… I won the Finland Helsinki Marathon this morning in 02:24’40… what next,” on his official Facebook page.
The crowned champion left Cameroon following threats on his life. He comes from the restive North West region where a bloody armed conflict has prevailed for almost four years and still counting.
Eric Mbacha has been one of the outstanding names in Cameroon athleticism.This is due to his exceptional three times triumph in the Mt. Cameroon Race of Hope held annually in the chief town of the Southwest Region, Buea.
As the winner before this year’s edition of the race, Eric could not defend his title as he confirmed to have received threats from armed groups warning him not to show up in Buea.
“I am currently seeking asylum in Europe. After my victory at the Mt. Cameroon Race last year, I received calls and messages from strangers. They asked me why I took part in the competition when they previously asked the athletes not to run. Let them sleep in the rain, I can’t look for them. Let people kill people in my village and celebrate my victory. Let them know that I escaped from Nkambe and that I would be in Foumban in the Western Region. That I should never dream of returning home and I will never escape their net every time they will come to get me,” he told datacameroon.com last year.
The athlete has also moved his family to the French-speaking part of Cameroon for their safety.
More so, he equally hopes to bring his wife and children to Finland where he now resides.