Rwandan athletes in last-minute preparations for 2023 Peace marathon

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With four days left to this year’s edition of Kigali International Peace Marathon, Rwandan athletes have for the past two weeks going through intensive training sessions ahead of the highly-anticipated 18th edition of Kigali International Peace Marathon (KIPM) slated for June 11.

A group of 21 athletes who will represent Rwanda at the annual competition have been camping at Gicumbi Glory Hotel in Gicumbi District preparing for the marathon. There are six athletes in the men’s half marathon, six in the women’s half marathon, five in the men’s full marathon, and three in the women’s full marathon.

Head coach Eric Karasira has been putting the athletes through their pace as they look to grab more medals on Sunday.

“The preparations are going well and our only target is to win medals in this edition of Peace marathon,”

Said Karasira.

Last year, Rwanda’s female middle-distance runner Adeline Musabyeyezu put up an impressive performance that saw her strike a gold medal in the women’s half marathon of the 2022 Kigali International Peace Marathon.

Musabyeyezu clocked 1h14’09”, 11 seconds ahead of Burundian Elevanie Nimbona (1h14’20”) while Kenyan Doris Jepkoech went on to finish third to win bronze in the process.

The 25-year-old, who plays for APR Athletics, is one of only two Rwandan athletes who managed to make it to the podium in the race that was dominated by Kenyans in various categories.

Veteran Robert Kajuga is another athlete to watch has he looks to both beat his personal best and this time round win something better than the bronze medal he won during last year’s edition of the Peace Marathon.

It took the 37-year-old at least 10 years to return to the podium having also struck bronze in the half-marathon race at the same event back in 2012.

First held in 2005, the event is an annual running competition in the marathon and half marathon distances usually held in Kigali.

In 2021, the marathon was awarded a World Athletics Label, an award that recognizes high standards in event organization, safety and runner experience as well as the application of the World Athletics rules and regulations.

The label also categorizes elite competitions with implications on ranking points available to international elite athletes and Olympics and World Championships qualification slots offered by the highest categorized competitions.

Squad

Full Marathon Men: David Gakuru, Alexis Nizeyimana, Cyprien Niyonsenga, John Hakizimana and Gilbert Dushimirimana.

Full Marathon Women: Clementine Mukandanga, Claudette Mukasakindi and Agnes Musabyimana.

Half- Marathon Men: Emmanuel Mutabazi, Nzayisenga, Celestin Nkundumuremyi, Robert Kajuga, Sylvain Nizeyimana and Primien Manirafasha.

Half-Marathon Women: Marthe Yankurije, Adeline Musabyeyezu, Angelique Ibishatse, Jeanne Gentille Uwizeyimana, Florence Niyonkuru and Clementine Nyiranizeyimana.

Source: The New Times

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