Rwanda’s long distance runners Eric Sebahire and Salome Nyirarukundo will compete in this year’s Dar Rotary Half Marathon which will be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on October 14.
The 21km race will attract elite athletes from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda and hosts Tanzania.
Fresh from competing at the just concluded 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Nirarukundo will be hoping to defend her title after claiming last year’s edition, her first major medal that she won at the age of 18.
“The two athletes have been selected based on their previous performances in this category and they stand a good chance to do well in Dar-es-salaam,” said the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) technical director John Peter Ndacyayisenga.
Despite winning last year’s race, RAF’s decision to select Nyirarukundo was based on her performance in this year’s Kigali International Peace Marathon, according to Ndacyayisenga.
In the race, the 19-year old was the only Rwandan athlete to make it to the podium after finishing second behind Kenyan Anges Jeruto. Nyararukundo clocked one hour, 13 minutes and 31 seconds and pocket Rwf1m in addition to the silver medal.
Her APR Athletic Club compatriot Sebahire was selected for winning bronze medal at the Brazzaville Half Marathon that took place on August 15 in Congo-Brazzaville posting 1:05:36.
Last year at the Dar Rotary Half Marathon, Nyirarukundo won the women’s race after posting one hour and 11 minutes beating the stiff competition from Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes.
In the men’s category, Alexis Nizeyimana finished in 10th position in a time of 1h3’ 51”; Potien Ntawuyirushintenge came in 15th place in a time of 1h4’00” while Robert Kajuga was 18th after clocking 1h5’00”.
Tanzanian Emmanuel Giniki took the men’s god medal after he clocked 1 hour and 2 minutes. The winners of both the men and women races will take home a gold medal and Tsh.3 million (Rwf1m).