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Margaret Kenyatta competes at Kigali marathon

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at the weekend joined thousands of runners for the 17th annual Kigali International Marathon in Rwanda.

The First Lady, who was in Kigali at the invitation of her Rwandan counterpart Mrs Jeanette Kagame, participated in the 10km segment of the road race that attracted several big-name athletes including Mo Farah.

Kenyan athletes dominated podium positions at the marathon, scooping eight of the 12 medals on offer led by Wilfred Kirwa, Kibet Maiyo and George Nyamori Onyancha who won gold, silver and bronze respectively in the men 42km full marathon.

Kenyans Margaret Agai, Rebecca Korir and Bernice Ruto repeated the same feat in the women’s category of the full marathon while Shadrack Kiminini led compatriot Doris Chepkoech in winning gold in the 21km segment.

Other notable winners were Rwandan Adeline Musabyeyezu and Burundian Nimbona Elvanie of Burundi who won bronze and silver medals respectively in the half marathon.

Ugandan Gilbert Kampire and Rwanda’s Robert Kajuga won silver and bronze medals in the men’s half marathon.

Kigali International Peace Marathon, an annual athletics event, was launched in 2005 as an amateur race aimed at using sports in the healing and reconciliation process following the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The First Lady has used athletes to influence the world on a number of projects including maternal health care.

She formed the Beyond Zero, an annual marathon in Nairobi and once competed in the London marathon.

Proceeds from these races were channeled towards distributing mobile clinics in all the 47 counties to ensure women do not suffer complications while giving birth.