Hakizimana posts personal best to finish 34th at World Half-Marathon Champs

John Hakizimana finished third in Men's Half-Marathon at the 2017 Kigali International Peace Marathon
John Hakizimana finished third in Men's Half-Marathon at the 2017 Kigali International Peace Marathon.

Men, Top three
1. Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor (Kenya) – 1:00:02
2. Abraham Naibei Cheroben (Bahrain) – 1:00:22
3. Aron Kifle (Eritrea) – 1:00:31

Rwanda
34. John Hakizimana – 1:02:26
42. Noel Hitimana – 1:02:53
110. David Gakuru – 1:07:02

RWANDA international middle and long distance runner John Hakizimana registered a new personal best on Sunday afternoon to finish in the 34th place at the 2018 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Valencia – Spain.

Unsurprisingly, the event was dominated by Kenya and Ethiopia. Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor (1:00:02) of Kenya claimed the men’s race while Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta Kebede clocked one hour, six minutes and eleven seconds to clinch the women’s fray top prize.

At the one-day world class showdown, Rwanda was represented by a total three athletes, all men, namely; Hakizimana, Noel Hitimana and David Gakuru.

Hakizimana, 21, was the country’s best performer in Spain, recording a new personal best of 1:02:26 in half-marathon to finish 34th out of 160 athletes on the start-list, from which eight failed to complete the 21.097km gruesome race.

Going into Sunday’s gruesome contest, APR athletics club runner Hakizimana had a personal best of 1:05:48 he recorded last year at the 2017 Kigali International Peace Marathon where he finished third to win bronze.

Compatriots’ Hitimana and Gakuru, who also put up their A Game to record new personal bests, finished in the 42nd and 110th spots respectively.

A mighty wind blew through the Spanish coastal city of Valencia but it failed to stop Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor or Ethiopia's Netsanet Gudeta Kebede from dominating the 24th edition of the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships. The two athletes sailed down the light-blue-carpeted finish to win in 1:00:02 and 1:06:11, respectively.

Each athlete collected the US$30,000 first prize, but Gudeta will collect an additional US$50,000 because her mark was a pending IAAF world record for a women's-only race. A total of 152 men and 117 women finished the race.

The next edition of the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland in March 2020.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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