Noel Hitimana strikes gold at Trieste Half-Marathon in Italy

Noel Hitimana (C) on the podium after winning the 2019 Trieste Half-Marathon on Sunday. Courtesy

RWANDA’s Noel Hitimana clinched gold medal at the 2019 edition of the Italian Trieste Half-Marathon on Sunday.

It was the long-distance runner’s first competition since joining his new club Atletica Castello, of Italy, last month.

Hitimana, 29, threw his arms up in the air in excitement after crossing the finish-line in Piazza Unità d’Italia as he celebrated his fantastic debut with the Italian team. He covered the 21km in one hour, three minutes and 27 seconds.

Najibe Salami of the Italian Army win silver while Kenyan Joel Melly finished in third, winning himself a bronze medal.

Noel Hitimana crosses the finish-line in Piazza Unità d’Italia to win the 2019 Trieste Half-Marathon on Sunday. Courtesy.

“It was not easy, but I made it. I am very excited to have such a debut in Italy,” said Hitimana after his triumphant performance.

The former APR athletics club runner added: “I had prepared for the race for nearly one month, and hope that I will keep working hard and improving, and winning even bigger competitions in the future.”

Hitimana, who has become a household name since last year when he won gold in men’s half-marathon during the 14th Kigali International Peace Marathon, was part of Rwanda’s quartet at this year’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Denmark.

The event was held on March 30 from where he immediately linked up with Atletica Castello.