Rwanda’s long distance runners Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro and Salome Nyirarukundo will today afternoon (4pm) jet off to Germany aboard Ethiopian Airways, to take part in this year’s edition of Silvesterlauf.
Silvesterlauf is a New Year’s Eve City Race that is staged annually in the German southwestern city of Trier.
The duo is set to become the first ever Rwandans to compete at the one-day road race that is staged every 31st of December where the best German runners, international athletes, hobby athletes, and senior citizens, celebrate the conclusion of the year.
This year’s is the 27th edition of the race and comprise of two categories which are women category (5km) and men category (8km).
With the two Rwandan athletes having had an excellent record at various competitions this year, each has vowed to make a memorable debut at the prestigious event following their one-month extensive preparations in various parts of the country.
18-year-old Nyirarukundo is fresh from winning this year’s Dar-es-Salaam Rotary Half Marathon title for the second time in a row in October, the first Rwandan to win the regional race twice.
She says she is ready to make more history in Germany, where she says she has set her eyes on a podium finish.
“I feel ready enough, I had excellent preparations and I feel very optimistic to win, I am going for a podium finish very well knowing that this is a tough competition with world’s best athletes; however I have enough experience to spur me to victory,” said Nyirarukundo.
This year, the Rutsiro-born athlete was also the only Rwandan to make it to the podium in the Kigali International Peace Half Marathon held in May, winning a silver medal.
She also made her debut in the Africa Senior Athletics Championship that was held in June in Durban, South Africa, where she finished fourth in the 10,000m and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
In Rio, Nyirarukundo did not impress as she came in 27th position out 35 participants, clocking 32:07:80.
Nonetheless, she still managed to come first in the IAAF yearly rankings, with a total of 1168 points followed by 18-year-old Beatha Nishimwe, who collected 1142 points while Honorine Iribagiza, 17, came in third place with 1118 points.
Likewise, 19-year old Myasiro will also be hoping to add on his current track and field record in 10,000m which he set in July this year during the 2016 IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships that took place in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
He noted; “I am looking forward to the competition don’t know how intense the competition is but personally I am targeting a podium finish and if it fails I should make it to the top five.”
Myasiro broke a 12-year national record in 10,000m. The youngster clocked 29:26:16 to finish in the 11th place out of 34 athletes, effectively breaking the record of 29:35:41 that was set by Valence Bivahagumye in 2004 in Italy in a similar event.
On IAAF rankings, he finished second with 1003 points behind Emmanuel Ntakiyimana who had 1040 points while Eric Sebahire came third with 992 points.