1. Salome Nyirarukundo (APR) 1h 15’12’’
2. Celine Iranzi (APR) 1h19’36’’
3. Marthe Yankurije (APR) 1h20’27’’
4. Primitive Niyirora (NAS) 1h25’10’’
5. Vivine Niragire (APR) 1h25’11’’
1. Felicien Muhitira (Mt. Classic) 1h5’23’’
2. James Sugira (Mt. Classic) 1h5’24’’
3. John Hakizimana (APR) 1h5’28’’
4. Christophe Tuyishime (APR) 1h5’45’’
5. Dawidi Gakuru (Police) 1h6’3’’
APR’s Salome Nyirarukundo started 2018 on a high after winning the Kigali Half Marathon on Sunday. The half marathon is the opening race of the local athletics season.
The 20-year-old dominated the 21km inaugural edition after clocking 1hr, 15 minutes and 12 seconds—she finished ahead of APR Athletics Club teammates Celine Iranzi (1h19’36’’) and Marthe Yankurije (1h20’27’’).
Primitive Niyirora of New Athletics Star (NAS) finished in fourth place in a time of 1hr, 25 minutes and 10 seconds while Vivine Niragire (APR) completed the top five with 1hr, 25 minutes and 11 seconds.
“It is good to start the year with a win but it is also a challenge for me because we have other big competitions ahead of us including the Kigali International Peace Marathon. I am going to keep working hard in order to win more races this year,” Nyirarukundo said.
She added that, “I am happy because I won the first race of the year, so I am going to prepare well and see if I can improve in every race. We have big local and international events ahead, so we need to be ready.”
Last year, Rwanda’s middle-distance runner won silver at the 28th edition of Silvesterlauf- a New Year’s Eve race held in the Southwestern German city of Trier. She also won the Run Blue Half Marathon and International Peace Marathon.
Meanwhile, the men’s category was claimed by Mountain Classic Athletics Club’s Felicien Muhitira, who covered the 21km in 1 hour, 5 minutes and 23 seconds, just a second ahead of teammate James Sugira, who came in second position while John Hakizimana of APR completed the podium in 1h5’28”.
Christophe Tuyishime of APR finished fourth with a time of 1hr, 5 minutes and 45 seconds while Police Athletics Club’s Dawidi Gakuru was fifth in 1hr, 6 minutes and 3 seconds.
According to the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) technical director, Jean Pierre Ndacyayisenga, they will have a technical meeting this week to analyse the results where they will select the athletes, who will join the top five in the training camp next week ahead of the forthcoming competitions.
Rwanda will compete in different international competitions namely; IAAF World Half Marathon Championship on March 24 in Valencia, Spain, the Commonwealth Games slated for April 4-15 in Queensland, Australia, the Kigali International Peace Marathon on May 20 as well as Africa Championships in August 1-5 in Asaba, Nigeria.
Meanwhile Rwanda Athletics Federation has a new executive committee. It includes President: Fidele Mubirigi, Secretary General: Olivier Rutangana, Tressurer: Dieudonné Tabaruka, Advisors: Sandrine Murangwa and Jean Bosco Mutuyeyezu, Auditors: Saidi Hamisi Ndayisaba and Delphine Musabyemariya.