Long-distance runner Robert Kajuga outpaced his rival Eric Sebahire to secure a notable victory in the revived 20km de Kigali race on Sunday.
The Sec academy runner won the event in 57 minutes, 12 seconds and 68 micro-seconds ahead of Eric Sebahire, Cyriaque Ndayikengurukiye, Alex Nizeyimana and Godfrey Rutayisire.
This was the fourth event Kajuga won this year. In January, he won the Kimisagara national championship, then the Kicukiro cross country championship in February, and Bugesera cross country championship in early December.
"I am delighted to cap this year on a high. I was determined to win the race, my hard work and commitment helped me," said Kajuga.
Kajuga also pocketed Rwf300, 000, while second-placed Sebahire clocked 58:21 to earn Rwf250, 000; Ndayikengurukiye and Nizeyimana clocked 59:07 to pocket Rwf200, 000 and Rwf150, 000, respectively, and Rutayisire finished fifth in 59:10 to pocket Rwf100,000.
Kajuga has taken local athletics by storm after some breathtaking performances over the last two years and is already touted as Rwanda's next big hit after veteran Dieudonne Disi.
This year, the 26-year-old has had good performances which has seen him finish 9th in this year's African Cross Country Championship held in South Africa back in March.
In April, he finished 6th in the Morocco Half Marathon and followed it up with a podium finish (3rd) in the International Peace Marathon and a 5th spot finish in the 18th African Senior Championship in Benin, which consequently qualified him for the 2012 Olympic Games in August.
In London, he finished 14th, Rwanda's best performance in the 10,000m final race, clocking a personal best of 27:56.67.
In October, he led a seven-man Rwandan team which defied odds to finish a notable sixth position in the world at the 20th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships held in Bulgaria.
Kajuga finished atop of his teammates, grabbing a 12th place finish after clocking one hour, two minutes and 22 seconds.
Meanwhile, in the women category, Olympian Claudette Mukasakindi beat off close rivalry from Jane Nyambura, Epiphanie Nyirabarame, Salome Nyirarukundo and Angelline Nyiransabimana to win the tight race in one hour, nine minutes and eight seconds.
The Rwanda Athletics Federation gave cash prizes to ten best runners with the winner get Rwf300, 000, with the last earning Rwf40, 000.
20km de Kigali results
R. Kajuga 57:12:68
E. Sebahire 58:21
C. Ndayikengurukiye 59:07
A. Nizeyimana 59:07
G. Rutayiisre 59:10
C. Mukasakindi 1:09:08
J. Nyamura 1:10:29
E. Nyirabarame 1:11:12
S. Nyirarukundo 1:13:27
A. Nyiransabimana 1:14: 25