Muhitira eyes podium at RomaOstia Half-Marathon

Rwanda international middle and long distance runner Felicien Muhitira will be looking to put on an impressive performance in Sunday’s RomaOstia Half-Marathon in Italy.
Felicien Muhitira, right, seen here in action in a past race in Italy, will be looking to put on an impressive performance.
Felicien Muhitira, right, seen here in action in a past race in Italy, will be looking to put on an impressive performance.

Sunday
RomaOstia Half-Marathon – 9:45am

Rwanda international middle and long distance runner Felicien Muhitira will be looking to put on an impressive performance in Sunday’s RomaOstia Half-Marathon in Italy.

The 44th annual race and Italy’s only athletics road race event recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), will see participants departing from Rome Eur Palalottomatica and finish at OSTIA Piazzale Cristoforo Colombo.

Speaking exclusivel to Sunday Sport from Italy, Rwanda’s top male runner, said he is in good form and looking forward to the race with an ambitious to finish among the top three.

“I arrived here (Rome) on Friday, and I have a day to recover for the race on Sunday. RomaOstia Half-Marathon is a top race, and I expect to face very stiff challenge from renowned international runners. My target is to fight for a podium finish,” Muhitira told this paper Saturday morning.

The former APR athletics club runner, Muhitira, 23, who is making his first appearance for his new team, Roma Athletics Club, that he joined in January, also considers the race as a good test ahead of the forthcoming 23rd IAAF World Half Marathon Championship, scheduled for March 24 in Valencia, Spain.

He noted that, “Despite intensive preps I have had over the last couple months in Rwanda, I have not had a competitive race for over three months. RomaOstia Half-Marathon is a good test for me ahead of this year’s World Half-Marathon Championship.”

The race in Rome is expected to be contested by around 12,000 participants from the world over, among them American legend Galen Rupp, a former teammate and training partner of Britain’s Mo Farah.

The American mid-distance runner Rupp, is a complete mid-runner who, after an extraordinary career on the track where he won silver at the 2012 Olympic Games in men’s 10,000 meters along with 3 national records, began to devote himself to road racing.

The transition was quick and equally successful, winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, in the marathon, crossing the finish line in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 5 seconds.

Other top challengers include; the defending champion Guye Adola from Ethiopia, Moroccan Amghar Hicham and Kenya’s Stephen Chebogut as well as Ugandan Solomon Mutai, bronze medalist in 2015 at the Beijing World Marathon Championships.

Ethiopian Direba Bonsa Dida, winner of the Madrid Marathon 2017, is also in the mix. RomaOstia Half Marathon was held for the first time back in 1974 and is held annually in the Italian capital – Roma.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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