Elite local athletes have intensified preparations for the first edition of the MTN Kigali Half Marathon set to be flagged of on Sunday at Amahoro stadium.
“Our top athletes, both based here and in Italy, are all taking this competition seriously, they want to win places on the national team for next year’s World Half Marathon in Denmark,” Organisers, Rwanda Athletics Federation’s Secretary General Johnson Rukundo told Saturday Sport yesterday.
He said some local-based athletes have spent the last few days training at the high altitude base in Byumba, while those based in Italy have returned to the country.
This will be the only competition to be used to select the team that will represent the country at the 2014 World half marathon.
“We will only pick the best athletes, so whoever misses this opportunity, will have to wait for the next edition,” added Rukundo.
The Italy-based athletes include; Jean Baptiste Simuceka, Eric Sebahire, Claudette Mukasakindi and Angelique Nyiransabimana.
However, defending champion Robert Kajuga, who is nursing an Achilles heel injury and Jean Pierre Mvuyekure, who is set to compete in Germany marathon, will too miss the Kigali MTN half marathon.
Some of the home-based runners vying for places on the 21km-team include, Godfrey Rutayisire, Felix Ntirenganya, Cyriaque Ndayikengurukiye, Alexis Nizeyimana, Jean Marie Vianney Uwajeneza, Retien Ntawuyirushintego, Adeline Musabyeyezu, Jean d’Arc Mukakigeri and Epiphanie Nyirabarame.
So far 300 athletes have already been confirmed for the inaugural MTN Kigali half marathon whose registration ends today evening at Amahoro Stadium, the MTN office at Rubangura house, the MTN Nyamirambo centre and the MTN Nyabugongo centre.
Registration fee is Rwf500. The event will be 21km for the half marathon and 7km for the run for fun.