Salome NYIRARUKUNDO, James SUGIRA back home with silver medals
Rwanda duo athletes Salome NYIRARUKUNDO and James SUGIRA yesterday touched down in Kigali with silver medals won on the New Year’s Eve in Bitburger-Silvesterlauf in Trier-Germany.
Salome Nyirarukundo won second place behind the 20-year old Dutch Konstanze Klosterhalfen after clocking 15’ 50” in a 5-kilometer race.
In men’s category, and for the very first time, Rwandan athlete James Sugira won second place in an 8km-race after clocking 23’11”.
The duo told RuhagoYacu, upon arrival in the country, that their zeal to keep the Rwanda flag fly high was the key to their good performance!
Speaking with RuhagoYacu, Ndacyayisenga Peter –Technical Director at Rwanda Athletics Federation(RAF), said that the duo scooped the medals as result of their enthusiasm and desire for win.
Rwanda Athletes Federation Technical Director Mr. Peter Ndacyayisenga
“Our players were competing with tough opponents whom they were initially scared of, but we had to get them calm down, to eventually win the silver medals, though we also wanted to scoop gold ones.
As for Salome;the previous tournament third place winner, there was a time when she felt exhausted yet she had two runners (Ethiopian and Dutch) to overcome before crossing the finishing line. She however pressed ahead to eventually overcome one opponent to win second place.
Silverware winner Salome NYIRARUKUNDO
Salome pointed out that she now sets her heart on the upcoming tournament in Kenya looking to get the required minima for the Olympic Games qualifications in Tokyo 2020.
James Sugira, who also won a silver medal, told RuhagoYacu that he was happy with his performance at the tournament despite strong opponent he had to overcome in German.
Salome(left) and James (right) displaying their certificates upon their arrival in Kigali
“It was very cold, yet we had to overcome strong opponents who had better minims than we had, but we did whatever was in our power to win. I personally was there for my very first time competing in an 8 km-race outside of Rwanda, and guess what; I got better results than I had before”.
After this competition, the duo, in collaboration with RAF, are going to prepare for the upcoming tournaments; mainly Common Wealth Semi Marathon World Championship (March 2018), Kigali Peace Marathon (May 2018), and Africa Championship (August 2018).