GERVAIS Hakizimana is the latest local athlete to pull out of the Kigali International Marathon. Speaking from his camp in Belgium, Hakizimana said that he had opted to run in the ‘Championat élite de la France’ as he seeks qualification minimums for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
“I had hoped to run in the race (Kigali International marathon) but unfortunately, the marathon coincides with ‘Championat élite de la France,” he said.
Last week, Rwanda’s top athlete Dieudonné Disi ruled himself out of the event citing personal reasons. The 29-year-old is even eyeing retirement after the Delhi Games which are set for August.
Over 4000 athletes are expected to run in this year’s edition scheduled for May 22– 23.
Unlike previous editions, this year’s half (21km) and full (42km) marathons will be preceded by a 5km Run for Fun race.
So far, 40 athletes from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, Italy, France and Australia have registered.
The winner of the full marathon will pocket $2500 while the winner of the half marathon will walk away with $1500.
Last year, Kenya’s Tabut Benjamin Kipkosgei clocked 2 hours, 21 minutes and 38 seconds sweep the full marathon while Bryton Banuelia of Tanzania set a new record in the women fray after clocking 2 hours, 47minutes and 49 seconds.