KENYA continued its dominance of the MTN Kigali Peace Marathon by sweeping top positions in the 10th edition yesterday in both men and women’s 42km event.
The men’s category winner, Biwot Kipkorir, took an early lead and looked comfortable throughout the race that was flagged off by the Minister of Sports and Culture Protais Mitali.
The Kenyan clocked two hours 17 minutes and 55 seconds ahead of compatriots Jacob Kiplagat (02:18:06) and Barnabas Kiptum (02:18:21), who finished in second and third, respectively.
“I enjoyed the race and I have liked Rwanda for the few days I have been here, God willing I will be back to defend my title next year,” Kipkorir said after receiving his cash prize of Rwf1.2 million.
A local phone seller, Jean Damascene Mugabo (02:21:07), in tenth position, was Rwanda’s best placed athlete, followed by Freddy Twahirwa (02:22:27) in 13th.
Patrick Cherotwo was Uganda’s best-placed athlete finishing 17th in 02:22:24.
In the ladies category, it was a Kenyan affair too with the winner, Sally Jemutai Kimaiyo, clocking two hours, 44 minutes and two seconds, ahead of Linah Jerop Chirchir (02:47:30) and Rebby Koech Cherono (02:51:49, all from Kenya.
Kenyan runners were in good form as they also took charge in the 21km, sweeping the first three positions in the men’s category. Limo Kipkemboi won in a time of 01:03:20 ahead of Alfred Chebet (01:05:10) and Stephen Kiprotich (01:05:21).
Eric Sebahire was the best-placed Rwandan after finishing fifth, two minutes and nine seconds behind the winner. He was followed by Felicien Muhitira (01:05:39) in sixth, Potien Ntawuyirushintege (01:06:13) in seventh, and Cyriaque Ndayikengurukiye (01:06:16) in 11th positions.
“I am happy for finishing fifth and I owe this to good preparations. I have trained for this event for the last two months and it’s a great feat for me,” added Sebahire after receiving Rwf300, 000 in cash prize.
In the ladies category, Tanzanian Natalie Elisante beat off Kenyan challenge to win the 21km half marathon after clocking one hour, 16 minutes and 42 seconds.
Kenyan duo of Naomi Jepkogei (01:17:08) and Sylvia Kibiego (01:17:27) followed in that order.
Clementine Mukandanga (01:21:38), Pelagie Musengimana (01:28:37) and Rosette Twambazimana (01:28:39) were the best three Rwandan female athletes finishing in fourth, fifth and sixth positions, respectively.
In total, 1,686 people took part in the full marathon, as well as half (21km) marathon and 5km Run-for-Fun event , braving a cold weather to take to the streets.
10th Kigali Peace Marathon
1. Biwot Kipkorir (Ken) 02:17:55
2. Jacob Kiplagat (Ken) 02:18:06
3. Barnabas Kiptum (Ken) 02:18:21
1. Sally Jemutai Kimaiyo (Ken) 02:44:02
2. Linah Jerop Chirchir (Ken) 02:47:30
3. Rebby Koech Cherono (Ken) 02:51:49
Half Marathon (21km)
1. Limo Kipkemboi (Ken) 01:03:20
2. Alfred Chebet (Ken) 01:05:10
3. Stephen Kiprotich (Ken) 01:05:21
1. Natalie Elisante (Tz) 01:16:42
2. Naomi Jepkogei (Ken) 01:17:08
3. Sylvia Kibiego (Ken) 01:17:27