Following his disappointing debut performance at this year’s 39th edition of the 20 Kilomètres de Paris (Paris 20 km) on Sunday, long distance runner Felicien Muhitira has attributed his below par performance to exhaustion due to several races he had been involved in ahead of the competition.
On Sunday, Muhitira, who had vowed to become the second Rwandan athlete to win the prestigious 20 Kilomètres de Paris after retired icon Dieudonne Disi in 2009, missed out on the podium finish by just three seconds.
He finished the annual event fourth in 58 minutes and 43 seconds, 15 seconds behind the race winner, Collins Chebi of Kenya (00:58’:28”).
The Rwandan runner was beaten to the bronze medal by Frenchman Florian Carvalho, who posted 58 minutes and 40 seconds while Kenyan Josphat Kiprono Menjo scooped the silver medal.
“Nothing went astray, I did my best and actually I am thankful that I made it in the top five; before this race, I had raced in other two gruesome races in a period of two weeks and from the information I had, the first three in Sunday’s race had not raced in any race in that period,” he revealed.
“We were mostly together during the race but towards the finish I became a bit exhausted and couldn’t match their pace, it was disappointing but, on the other hand, it was a good performance for me,” he further added.
Muhitira competed in the race just six days after winning the 98th edition of Sedan-Charleville race in a record breaking time that had stood for 54 years, set by Norman Ameur, who had posted 1:11:08 in 1963.
A week before that triumph, Muhitira, who races for Italian team Potenza Picenza, finished fifth in the Le Lion Semi Marathon International after clocking 1 hour, one minute and 56 seconds to set a new personal best.
On his calendar, the Bugesera born athlete is set to race in the Marseille-Cassis Classique Internationale half marathon scheduled for October 23.