Full Marathon (42km)
Gilbert Chumba Kipleting (Ken) 2h: 19’:49”
Edwin Kemboi Kiyeng (Ken) 2h:19’:57”
James Tallam (Ken) 2h:20’:00”
Beatrice Rutto Jepkorir (Ken) 2h:46’:38”
Pamela Bundotich Chepkoech (Ken) 2h:47’:21”
Sarah Jerop Legat (Ken) 2h:27’:24”
Half Marathon (21km)
Bartile Kiptoo Kipkoech (Ken) 1h:04’:25”
Ezekiel Mutai Kimeli (Ken) 1h:05’:38”
John Hakizimana (Rwa) 1h:05’:48:”
Salome Nyirarukundo (Rwa) 1h:15’:28”
Sheilla Chesang (Ken) 1h:20’:24”
Claudette Mukasakindi (Rwa) 1h:20’:36”
IT was a historic moment for Salome Nyirarukundo after winning a gold medal in the Kigali International Peace Marathon, yesterday.
The 20-year-old youngster made history after becoming the first Rwandan female athlete to win the half marathon since the inception of the annual event in 2005. The event was graced by the First Lady Jeannette Kagame and her Kenyan counterpart Margaret Kenyatta.
With this win, Nyirarukundo also becomes the second Rwandan to win gold in Kigali International Peace Marathon after Dieudonne Disi in the men’s half marathon in 2006.
The Rutsiro-born athlete comfortably beat her closest contender Sheilla Chesang by a gap of almost five minutes—the Kenyan clocked one hour, 20 minutes and 24 seconds to settle for silver, while Rwandan Claudette Mukasakindi claimed bronze after using one hour, 20 minutes and 36 seconds.
However, after this triumph Nyirarukundo announced that she has put on hold the half marathon running as she turns focus to competing on track.
The former APR athlete revealed to Times Sport in an exclusive interview that this was her last half marathon and will be concentrating on track races, on advice of her Netherlands-based management company, Global Sports Communication.
“This is historic for me and the country in general, a very great achievement. I really worked hard to win gold today, and I am very excited about it,” said Nyirarukundo.
She added, “I believe working with global communication and training in Kenya has had a great impact on my performance. However, I am also sad to announce that this is my last half marathon race because my managers want me to concentrate on track running ahead of World Championships in London.”
Following a successful 2016, Nyirarukundo attracted attention from the world’s top athletics managers, and in January this year, after parting company with APR Athletics Club, she struck a deal with Global Sports Communication, which also has bases in Uganda, Kenya and China.
The company represents up to 150 athletes from 20 different countries including; Eliud Kipchoge, the 2016 Rio Olympics Marathon gold medalist, Kenenisa Bekele, the current World and Olympic record holder in men’s 5,000m and 10,000m, and Almaz Ayana (Rio Olympics women 10,000m gold medal winner), among others.
Meanwhile, Kenyans continued their dominancy of the full marathon in both men and women categories.
In the men’s category, Gilbert Chumba Kipleting won gold posting 2h:19’:49” ahead of his compatriots Edwin Kiyeng Kemboi (2h:19’:57”) while James Tallam claimed bronze in 2h:20’:00”.
Beatrice Rutto Jepkorir took gold in the women category using 2h:46’:38”, while Pamela Bundotich Chepkoech claimed silver posting 2h:47’:21” and Sarah Jerop Legat settled for bronze after clocking 2h:47’:24”.