Tanzanians dominate Kilimanjaro International Marathon

KILIMANJARO: TANZANIA showcased its athletic dominance at the Kilimanjaro International Marathon held in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region yesterday, as Augustino Sulle and Natalia Sulle conquered the men and women’s 42 km categories with an impressive time of 02:21:06 and 02:51:23 respectively.

The triumph continued in the Tigo Half Marathon, with Faraj Damas securing the men’s title in 01:16:40, while Failuna Matanga upheld Tanzanian dominance in the women’s division, clinching victory at the same time.

In the main event, Tanzanian Sulle won ahead of Abraham Kosgei from Kenya who clocked 02:22:02 to clinch second place, while Elisha Kimutai clocked 02:22:17 to win third place.

While in the women’s category, Natalia soared to win the race, ahead of her compatriot Neema Sanka who clocked 02:51:47 to claim the second place, while Vailet Kidasi won the third place after running for 03:01:03 to complete all three Tanzanians parade at the podium in the women’s 42 km category.

In the Tigo Half Marathon men’s category, the race winner Damas from Tanzania was followed by Peter Mwangi from Kenya who ran for 01:03:44, while Tanzanian Kennedy Abel won third place after clocking 01:04:22.

In the women’s category, which was also dominated by Tanzanian athletes Matanga emerged as the winner followed by Neema Kisuda who won second place after running for 01:16:54, whereas Neema Mbua won third place after clocking 01:17:07. In the 21 km women’s category Vivian Opskvik from Norway clocked 01:29:09 to emphasise the event’s international status. Minister for Art, Culture and Sports, Dr Damas Ndumbaro flagged off the races, took part, and finished the Gee Soseji 5km fun run and later on was at the finishing line to receive the proud finishers including the winners of all categories.

Speaking during the event, Ndumbaro commended the organisers of the event which he said contributed a lot to improving sports in the country as well as identifying new talents every year.

“The government has and will continue to work closely with the founding members, main sponsors, and other sports stakeholders in making sure the event which started more than 20 years ago becomes sustainable for the benefit of sports development in the country,” he said.

“May I take this opportunity to thank the main sponsors of the event Kilimanjaro premium lager and other sponsors who include the Tigo21km Half Marathon, Gee Soseji – 5Km Fun Run, water table sponsors Simba Cement, Kilimanjaro Water, TotalEnergies, CRDB Bank and TPC Sugar and others.” With a commitment from sponsors and stakeholders to foster growth and sustainability, the Kilimanjaro International Marathon remains a symbol of sporting excellence in East Africa.

For her part, the TBL CEO who is the main sponsor of the event since it was established in 2003, Michelle Kilpin said the event has made dramatic strides as it enters its 22nd Anniversary.

“This achievement has been witnessed by millions across the world; It has been an exciting journey as this is now one of the biggest international athletics events in the entire region as it brings together over 12,000 runners and many more spectators from Tanzania and over outside the country whereby this year it drew participants from 56 countries,” she noted.

She added, “Our sponsoring brand ‘Kilimanjaro’ proudly shares its name with the magnificent mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, a world renowned attraction which like our brand stands tall and is the magnet for so many enthusiastic foreign and local runners here today,” she continued to say.

“May I take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners today and even those who did not win but managed to finish the race; we as Kilimanjaro Premium Lager are giving 28m/- as prizes in total where the first male and female in the 42km race will each walk home with 4m/-,” she said.

The CEO also thanked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism through the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) for the massive support they have and continue to give the Kilimanjaro International Marathon over the past 22 years.

Scores of runners from inside and outside the country took part in the event, pushing the estimated number of participants to more than 10,000 in all three distance segments which included the Kilimanjaro premium lager 42km, 21km Tigo Half marathon, and the Gee Soseji 5km fun run.

Proportionate to the rising popularity of the marathon, which is one of the big sports events in East Africa and the increase in the number of participants over the years, the level of organisational challenge has also been growing every year.

The Kilimanjaro International Marathon has continued to be the attraction of many people to the extent that various activities stopped in the town of Moshi, Kilimanjaro region during the 22nd edition of the event which took place yesterday (on Sunday) in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region.

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