Rwanda Gears Up for the 19th Kigali International Peace Marathon

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Redemption Goal: Improve from 2023’s medal-less performance.
Intensive Preparations: Began rigorous training on May 24.
Athlete Confidence: Strong confidence from coach and captains.
Symbol of Resilience: Marathon promotes peace and Rwanda’s rebirth.

As the 19th edition of the Kigali International Peace Marathon approaches, Rwanda’s athletes are set to make a significant impact. Scheduled for Sunday, June 9, this year’s marathon is not just a race but a testament to Rwanda’s resilience and the spirit of peace.

Aiming for Redemption

After a disappointing performance in the 2023 edition, where no Rwandan athlete secured a medal despite competing on home soil, the national team is determined to turn the tide. Last year, Kenyan athletes dominated, claiming 11 out of the 12 medals, with only one Ethiopian breaking their monopoly in the half marathon.

Rigorous Preparations

To ensure a better performance this year, the Rwandan team, comprising nine men and five women, has been undergoing intensive training since May 24 at the Hilltop Hotel in Remera, Kigali. The athletes are set to compete in the men’s half marathon, men’s full marathon, and women’s half marathon.

“We are all in good shape; players, staff, everyone is fit. Our ambition is always to win, even though sometimes the outcome is different,” said national coach Eric Karasira. He emphasized that their preparation has been more thorough this year, fostering optimism for a better result.

The Athletes’ Confidence

The team captain, Gilbert Dushimirimana, reflects the coach’s confidence. “We are strong this year and we promise Rwandans a victory. We will give our all,” he declared. He highlighted that they are 90% prepared, with the remaining 10% focusing on mental readiness.

On the women’s side, Emeline Imanizabayo, captain of APR and Rwanda’s team, vowed to make Rwandans proud. “We are ready to fight for our country and to see our flag fly high in this competition. We ask Rwandans to support us. We have no plan to disappoint them,” she affirmed.

Growing Anticipation

With three days remaining until the race, around 7,000 participants have registered for the marathon, which includes a half marathon, full marathon, and the Run for Peace category. The event not only highlights athletic prowess but also promotes peace, a theme deeply resonant with Rwanda’s history and its journey since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Symbolizing Resilience

The Kigali International Peace Marathon, organized annually by the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports, stands as a symbol of Rwanda’s rebirth and resilience. Since its inception in 2005, the marathon has been a beacon for peace, reflecting Rwanda’s commitment to fostering harmony and reconciliation.

The Road Ahead

As the marathon day approaches, the anticipation builds not just for the race but for what it represents. For the athletes, it is a chance to redeem themselves and bring glory to their country. For Rwanda, it is a celebration of peace and unity.

Supporting the Cause

The call for support from the athletes is not just about cheering them on but about being part of a broader narrative. “We ask Rwandans to support us,” Imanizabayo said, highlighting the communal spirit that the marathon embodies.

What one should expect;

Team Rwanda’s Redemption Effort:

After a disappointing 2023 performance, the Rwandan athletes are determined to secure medals and redeem their standing, making this a critical moment to watch.
Intensive Training Impact:

The results of the rigorous training camp held since May 24 at Hilltop Hotel will be crucial. Observing how this preparation influences their performance will be key.
Leadership and Determination:

The confidence and leadership displayed by team captains Gilbert Dushimirimana and Emeline Imanizabayo, who promise victory and high performance, will be significant during the marathon.

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