International athletics legends led by Usain Bolt and Mohamed Farah are among delegates invited to spice up the 15th Kigali International Peace Marathon which will be staged on June 16 at Amahoro Stadium.
The Kigali International Peace Marathon is expected to attract around 6,000 participants – professionals and amateurs – set to take part in the one-day multi-category competition.
It is divided into five categories; full marathon (42km), half marathon (21km), 10.54km marathon team relays, 5km course for children and an open-for-all 10km run for fun.
The Ministry of Sports and Culture in partnership with Rwanda Athletics Federation have invited high profile officials from the athletics federation to help in improving the image and credibility of the country’s annual marathon.
Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) is also partnering with Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) to organize the event.
According to organizers, Usain St Leo Bolt OJ CD, a Jamaican retired sprinter who a world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay whose reign as Olympic Games champion in all of these events spans three Olympics is among the key guests who will participate in the 10km run fun category.
The other high-profile dignitaries invited for the 10km Run for Fun is British Mohamed Muktar Jama Farah commonly known as Mo Farah. Farah is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history; he is the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist in both the 5000 m and 10,000m.
Others include; Tirunesh Dibaba, also known as Tirunesh Dibaba Kenene. Dibaba is an Ethiopian athlete who competes in long distance track events and international road races. She is the 5000 metres world record holder.
Others include; Sebastian Coe, is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Coe who is the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metres gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984.
The President of the Confederation of African Athletics Hamad Kalikaba Malboum and Nawal El Moutawakel from Morocco; Moutawakel is a former Moroccan hurdler, who won the inaugural women’s 400 metres hurdles event at the 1984 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming the first female Muslim born on the continent of Africa to become an Olympic champion and Kenyan Tegla Chepkite Loroupe who is also a global spokeswoman for peace, women’s rights and education. Loroupe holds the world records for 25 and 30 kilometres and previously held the world marathon record.
Last year, Rwandan athletes dominated the half marathon races 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.