The organizers of the May 21 Kigali International Peace Marathon event Rwandan Athletic Federation has reacted to the reports concerning the non-payment of the winners of medals at the event of their cash prizes.
Seven months after staging the event, the Kenyan-dominated award winning event, Rwanda athletes who came first, second and third in the from their respective categories are claiming that they Federation is yet to give them the money promised them.
They are not the only one in the loop as their Kenyan counterparts are also crying to the RAF to release their prize money to them.
The official sponsors of the race MTN-Rwanda, were said to have dolled out RwfRwf90 million and that figure represented a significant increase of Rwf19m compared to the year before.
The gold medal winners in both men and women categories would walk away with Rwf2m, while silver and bronze medal winners will go home with Rwf1.5m and Rwf1.2m respectively.
RAF president Jean Paul Munyandamutsa has admitted that the delay in giving out the prize money to deserved winners are due to paucity of funds and budget deficit.
However, Munyandamusta has confirmed the federation will fulfil their own part of the bargain as soon as possible.
Salome Nyirarukundo, who made history after becoming the first Rwandan female athlete to win the half marathon, had revealed that they have not been paid the prize money.
Nyirarukundo posted one hour, 15 minutes and 28 seconds en-route to becoming the first Rwandan woman to strike gold, improving on the silver medal she had won the previous year.
“It’s true that they haven’t received their prizes, we incurred a budget deficit and communicated to all concerned parties, said Munyandamutsa.
“We pledged to pay not later than August, but still we couldn’t manage, but we are now finalising it and will sort the issue anytime soon,” he added.
In the men’s Full Marathon, Kenyan Gilbert Chumba Kipleting won gold posting 2h:19:49 ahead of his compatriots Edwin Kiyeng Kemboi (2h:19:57) and James Tallam (bronze winner) 2h:20:00.
Beatrice Rutto Jepkorir took gold in the women’s full marathon after using 2h:46:38, while Pamela Bundotich Chepkoech claimed silver in 2h:47:21 with Sarah Jerop Legat picking up the bronze after clocking 2h:47:24.
The men’s half marathon was claimed by Kenya’s Bartile Kipkoech Kipto, who used 1h:04:25, with the runner-up being by compatriot Ezekiel Mutai Kimeli in 1h:05:38, with Rwandan John Hakizimana settling for the bronze after posting 1h:05:48.