Elite runner Robert Kajuga says lack of teamwork has hampered local athletes’ chances of winning the Kigali Peace Marathon.
The 11th edition of the annual race is slated for May 24, but no Rwandan has ever won the race, with Kenyans winning 8 of the 10 editions.
Kajuga, who has been out of action for the last 20 months after sustaining an Achilles heel injury in the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia in 2013 believes that team work would aid local runners win the competition.
“If we want to win the Peace Marathon, we have to work together as a team, not as individuals.
Athletes and Federation officials need to sit down and have a frank discussion on how best to prepare for such an event, otherwise if we continue like this, we will not be able to take on athletes from Kenya,” Kajuga said adding that the Athletics federation should learn from the Cycling Federation which spends the whole year preparing cyclists for the Tour du Rwanda.
Kajuga, who has been training for the marathon since January said that Kenyan, Ugandan and Ethiopian athletes are not any better than Rwandans, but they are facilitated by their respective authorities to have thorough preparations.
So far 600 people have registered for the marathon, the winner of the full Marathon will get Rfw1.6m while the top runner in the half marathon will get Rfw1m for both men and women categories.
The event will have the full marathon of 42km, half marathon of 21km and run for fan of 5km with all categories starting and ending at Amahoro stadium.
The annual event is organized to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi through peace and reconciliation and this year’s edition will attract athletes from within the country, neighbouring countries like Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and as far as Europe and USA.
The event is sponsored by Ministry of Sports and Culture, MTN, World Vision, RDB, Hotel des Milles Collines, Skol, UE Exchange, Light to Play, Manufactures Industries, Hello Food, Akagera Aviation, Rwanda military Hospital Assurance and Drop Water.