SALOME Nyiarukundo and Noel Hitimana put on a stunning performance to win the 2018 Bugesera 20km race in the men and women’s categories respectively on Sunday in Nyamata.
The historic victory in the annual race for both APR Athletics Club runners comes nearly a month after striking gold medals in half-marathon events of the 14th Kigali International Peace Marathon last month.
Fast-rising Nyirarukundo, 20, won the women’s 20-kilometre race after clocking a time of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 21 to cross the finish-line in Nyamata town, Southern Province.
She was followed by teammate and last year’s winner Marthe Yankurije (1:10:32), and bronze medalist Beathe Ishimwe who used one hour, sixteen minutes and thirty two seconds.
In the men’s category, Noel Hitimana proved his status as indisputably Rwanda’s best long distance runner this year, when he crossed the finish-line in 58 minutes and 20 seconds to set up a new record of the tournament. APR’s Felicien Nizeyimana used 1:00:33 to win gold last year.
Youngster James Sugira (58:28) finished in second place to claim the silver medal while Italy-based Felicien Muhitira settled for bronze after using 58:46 to finish in third.
This year’s winners; Nyirarukundo and Hitimana, bagged gold medals, air-tickets to Dubai courtesy of event sports Ethiopia Airlines plus a cash prize of Rwf 200,000 each.
First and second runners-up in either category walked away with a certificate and medals on top of a cash prize of Rwf 200,000 and RWf 150,000 respectively.
The one-day event was also graced by the Minister of Sports and Culture – Julienne Uwacu, the governor of Eastern Province – Fred Mufuluke and acting mayor of Bugesera district – Richard Mutabazi among other key guests who participated in the 3km run for fun category.
The annual Bugesera 20-kilometer athletics competition was the 4th edition since its inception in 2015. The event is organized by Gasore Serge Foundation in partnership with Bugesera district.
- Noel Hitimana – 58:25
- James Sugira – 58:28
- Felicien Muhitira –58:46
- Salome Nyirarukundo – 1:10:21
2. Marthe Yankurije – 1:10:32
3. Beathe Ishimwe – 1:16:32