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Dates for Kigali International Peace Marathon Confirmed

by Bonnie Mugabe
5:52 pm

Rwandan athletes seen participating in the Kigali International Peace Marathon last year in Kigali City

The 15th Edition of Kigali International Peace Marathon will be staged on June 16th, 2019 according to Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF).

Jean-Pierre Ndacyayisenga, the technical director of the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) confirmed the development to KT Sports on Tuesday.

He said, “Dates have been set for this year’s Kigali Peace Marathon. Online registration will begin soon and we expect a successful event attracting high profile athletes,”

Last year, the one-day event attracted over 5,000 participants under three categories – full marathon (42km), half marathon (21km) and run for fun (7km).

Rwandan athletes dominated the half marathon races at the 2018 Kigali International Peace Marathon with Salome Nyirarukundo and Noel Hitimana scooping gold medals in the women and men half marathon categories, respectively.

Athletics sensation Nyirarukundo became Rwanda’s first female athlete to again interrupt Kenyan dominance, winning the gold medal in the 21km distance.

The APR athletics club runner successfully retained the crown for the women’s half-marathon race at Amahoro National Stadium. She covered 21km in an hour, 28 minutes and 53 seconds, making her the first athlete to ever win two gold medals in two consecutive years of the annual event.

In second was Kenyan Esther Chesang Kakuri, who clocked 01:32:35, while Rwanda’s Marthe Yankurije (1:36:10) rounded up the third position to win a bronze medal.

Rwanda’s Noel Hitimana ended a 12-year jinx in the men half-marathon, claiming a gold medal after posting 01:16:16 to cover 21 km.

Hitimana became the second Rwandan athlete to claim gold in half marathon after retired long distance and cross-country runner Dieudonné Disi, who became the first local athlete to do so at the 2006 edition.

Hitimana, 28, was followed by the Kenyan duo of Kipkmoi Kipsanga (1:17:01) and Moses Kemei Kengeitch (1:17:13), who took silver and bronze medals, respectively.

However, it was again a Kenyan affair in the full marathon as the trio of Kibet Elkana Yego (02:23:42), Kenneth Rono Kibet (02:23:52) and Jonesn Omari (02:24:35) clinched gold, silver and bronze medals in the men’s category, respectively.

In the women’s category, another Kenyan trio of Beatrice Rutto Jepkorir, Caroline Jeruto, and Priscilla Chelangat finished in first, second and third.

Since 2004, RAF has been organising the Kigali International Peace Marathon. It started as a way to use sports in the healing and reconciliation process in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Today, the event has grown to become one of the most respected annual athletics events in the region and the continent.