Following his recent qualification for the 2019 World Championships in Athletics, Rwanda’s long distance and cross country runner Felicien Muhitira is aiming for a memorable full marathon debut following his entry into the rigorous category.
Last month, the 24-year old runner qualified for the 17th edition of the biennial event that will be held in Doha, Qatar from September 27-6 October, 2019 after finishing fifth at the Firenze full Marathon in Italy.
The Mountain Classic Athletics runner, who was competing in the full marathon category for the first time, posted 2 hours 14 minutes and 32 seconds in a race won by Ethiopia’s Gelchu Abdi Ali, who struck gold after he clocked 2 hours 11 minutes and 32 seconds.
“First of all I am very grateful that for the first time am competing in the full marathon, I managed to finish the race in the top five, I went there with two targets, the first was a podium finish or a qualification for the 2019 World Championship,” he said.
“So by achieving one of them, I feel grateful; however, it is now time to get ready for the big event, the experience I got from Italy is enormous, I know where I made mistakes and I am going to rectify them because I went to Qatar to fight for podium finish,” he added.
He added: “On the time I posted in Italy, I want to go down by at least four minutes and probably start posting two hours and nine minutes and early next year, I will try to look for other competitive marathons to help me prepare like the Paris or Rome Marathon.”
Muhitira is the third Rwandan athlete to secure a ticket for the 2019 World Championships full marathon following Clementine Mukandanga, who also got hers from Firenze Marathon after winning a bronze medal in the women category clocking 2 hours 30 minutes and 50 seconds, and Salome Nyirarukundo, who qualified after the 28th edition of the annual Montreal Marathon in Canada in September in which she posted 2h28’02”.