After securing qualification for Tokyo Olympics 2020, middle and long distance runner Felicien Muhitira has set his sights on winning the 15th edition of the annual Kigali International Peace Marathon, due June 16.
Muhitira obtained the minima time for qualification to the Olympic Games in the Rome Marathon on April 7 after finishing in sixth place having used 2h 10’58”.
He also qualified for Qatar World Championships, which will be staged in September 26 through October 5.
In an interview with Times Sport, the athlete said he is happy to get the minima to compete at the highest level and hope more Rwandan athletes will qualify.
“My target is to prepare well for Kigali Peace Marathon because I want to win the race and after that I want to focus for the World Championships in Qatar,” Muhitira said Monday.
Meanwhile, Rwanda Athletic Federation secretary-general Olivier Umuntangana said that, after Muhitira, they were looking to helping other local athletes to earn the qualification for Tokyo Olympics 2020.
“Peace Marathon is one of the competitions which could give the minima for Olympic Games so it’s an opportunity for the other athletes to look for qualification as well,” said Umuntangana.
Rwandan athletes dominated the half marathon races last year, with Salome Nyirarukundo and Noel Hitimana striking gold medals in the women and men’s half marathon categories, respectively.
Initiated in 2004 as an amateur race designed to help in Rwanda’s healing and reconciliation effort in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the event has grown to become one of the most respected annual athletics events in the region and on the continent.
Last year’s edition was held on May 20.