RWANDA’S women marathon national record holder Epiphanie Nyirabarame has attributed her recent performance during the 2009 IAAF World Championships marathon in Berlin last Sunday to God.
Nyirabarame set a new national record 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.
The two-time Olympian on Friday told Times Sport that she credits her achievement to the powers of the Creator.
“I didn’t know that I would record this time in my life. This was a great achievement and this is one of God’s wonders.”
“I entered the race to win a medal, but just because I didn’t [win], I can’t say it was a failure.
I managed to set a new national record,” the soft spoken Nyirabarame said.
The 28-year-old noted that she will continue with the full marathon, hoping to one time win a medal at a major championship.
However, Nyirabarame faced some difficulties despite finishing 26th in the Berlin Marathon. “I didn’t have any medical attention. There was a moment when I felt my muscles pulling yet I didn’t have even the massage oil which normally helps in such circumstances.”
Just like her male compatriot Dieudonne Disi (who didn’t finish the men’s marathon), 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 of the leading pack.
She eventually dropped to 27th position after 15km but rose back to 25th spot after the 20km mark.
Without a teammate or anyone to turn to for support, Nyirabarame kept in that range until the final bend when she was piped to the 26th 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 Berlin marathon was won by China’s Xue Bai.