Nyirarukundo eyes medals at Kigali Peace Marathon

Nyirarukundo won a gold medal last year. Sam Ngendahimana.

Rwanda’s top middle and long distance runner Salome Nyirarukundo is keen to banish memories of a poor performance at the Commonwealth Games last month by retaining the half marathon crown she won last year.

This year’s Kigali Peace Marathon is scheduled for May 20, and is expected to attract a record 8000 participants from around the world.

In an interview with Times Sport yesterday, Nyirarukundo said, “I am currently doing light training in Rubavu and will be embarking on intensive preparations next week at Amahoro Stadium.”

When asked what she thinks was her biggest challenge during the Commonwealth Games in Australia, the reigning national champion responded, “Insufficient preparation was the main challenge. You can’t train for a few weeks and expect to compete against the best runners.”

“The experience and lessons I learned from Commonwealth Games will facilitate me to do better in Kigali International Peace Marathon. I am working hard to be in top form,” she added.

At the 21st edition of Commonwealth Games staged in Queensland, Australia, Nyirarukundo clocked 32 minutes, 13 seconds and 74 microseconds to finish in 11th place out of 19 athletes in the women’s 10,000-metre contest.

Last May, the 20-year-old made history after becoming the first Rwandan to win a race in the Kigali International Peace Marathon – the women’s Half-Marathon.

Since its inauguration in 2004, the annual event has been dominated by Kenyan runners in both marathon and half-marathon categories.



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