World Athletics Championship
1. X.Bai (CHN) 2:25:15 SB
2. Y. Ozaki (JPN) 2:25:25 SB
3. A. Mergia (ETH) 2:25:32
26. E.Nyirabarame (Rwa) 2:33:59 NR
RWANDA’S top female athlete Epiphanie Nyirabarame yesterday set a new national record at the on-going World Athletics Championship in Berlin, Germany.
Nyirabarame, who was competing in the women marathon finished 26th after clocking 2 hours, 33minutes and 59 seconds beating the previous best of 2hours, 36minutes and 59 seconds set by Marcianna Mukamurenzi’s in the early 1990s.
Just like Dieudonne Disi on Saturday, the two-time Olympian caused a stir in the opening 10km of the race. Nyirabarame together with Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia led the pack but failed to keep up with the challenging pace.
She eventually dropped to 27th position after 15km but rose back to 25th spot after the 20km mark.
Nyirabarame kept in that range until the final bend when she was piped to the 25th spot by Spain’s Alessandra Aguilar.
It was a commendable effort from the Rwandan who finished in a distant 66th slot during last year’s Beijing Olympic Games.
The marathon was won by China’s Xue Bai.
Bai, 20, broke loose from Japan’s Yoshimi Ozaki towards the end to record a season best time of 2 hours, 25minutes and 15 seconds. Ozaki finished 10 seconds off the pace while Mergia settled for bronze after returning a time of 2 hours, 25minutes and 32 seconds.
There was no British representative after Paula Radcliffe withdrew early last week, while Mara Yamauchi was also absent with a foot injury.
Uganda’s representative Jane Suuto could only manage a 58th spot finish after clocking 2:52:44.