Rwanda will have a chance of participating in the forthcoming Olympic Games after MVUYEKURE Jean Pierre attained a minima B at the Rome International Marathon yesterday. Jean Pierre clocked the marathon race in 2:17:38, to beat the required 2:18 to attain these minima. Other Rwandan athletes who were running in the race failed to attain the minima, however they will have until June to pull up their socks in other IAAF recognized races to do so.
Rwanda was represented by NYIRABARAME Epiphanie, MVUYEKURE Jean Pierre, NTIRENGANYA Felix and TWAHIRWA Fred.
The marathon, the 18th of its kind was dominated by Kenya distance runners, with Luka Lokobe Kanda and Hellen Kimutai winning the double for men and women respectively.
Kanda won the men’s event in 2:08:04 to finish ahead of compatriot Samson Kiprono Barmao while Kimutai won her race in 2:31:11 to beat Ethiopian Ashete Dido Bekele with Marina Kovalyova of Russia taking third place.
Elsewhere, Rwanda gained fourth spot in the just concluded Africa cross country championships in South Africa. Rwanda finished behind Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea in team events, with KAJUGA Robert finishing 9th, a factor that propelled Rwanda to the above position. The championships, though, don’t give participants the minima but serve to prepare athletes for other major IAAF events, notably the world cross country championships. The race was again swept by Kenyan athletes in both men and women races, with Clement Langat completing the 12km race in 35 minutes and 43.0 seconds in men category, while Joyce Chepkurui orchestrated a Kenyan sweep of the first four places, winning the senior women’s 8km race in 27:04.0.