Rwanda's top rated female distance runner Salomé Nyirarukundo has continued her impressive start to the 2018 campaign after striking a bronze medal at the 2018 Barcelona half marathon that took place on Sunday.
The 21-year-old fast rising star debuted at the annual event under the sponsorship of her managing company called Global Sports Communication and was the only Rwandan athlete competing at the event.
The 21,0975km long route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya.
Against a gruesome field full of hundreds of experienced athletes from different parts of the world, the APR athletics club runner put on a stunning solo performance and finished in the third place clocking a total of one hour, 8 minutes and 48 seconds hence settling for a bronze medal.
With this time, Nyirarukundo posted her personal best in half marathon beating her previous best of one hour, 13 minutes and 55 seconds, which she had recorded during the 2016 Kigali International Half Marathon.
"I feel overjoyed, I really didn't expect this kind of performance, the competition was very tough, I had no one that could help me during the course and it was all on my shoulder to battle. I feel very excited to hit such time and climbing to the podium was very amazing," said Nyirarukundo in a phone interview with Times Sport from Barcelona on Sunday
The Kigali Peace half marathon reigning champion came behind Behrain's Tejitu Daba who scooped a gold medal after crossing the finish line first posting one hour, 8 minutes and 36 seconds while Ethiopian Dibabe Kuma took a silver medal after covering the distance in one hour, 8 minutes and 37 seconds.
Two weeks ago, the two-time Dar-es-Salaam Rotary half marathon winner won the inaugural Kigali half marathon where she had clocked one hour 15 minutes and 12 seconds.
Nyirarukundo was set to fly from Spain on Monday directly to Kenya for a training camp at Global Communications training center located in Eldoret to continue with her preparations for the Commonwealth Games slated for April 4-15 in Queensland, Australia where she will compete in 10,000 metres.
2018 Barcelona half marathon
Women top five
1. Tejitu Daba (Bahrain) 1h: 08':36"
2. Dibabe Kuma (Ethiopia) 1h: 08':37"
3. Salomé Nyirarukundo (Rwanda) 1h: 08:48"
4. Mimi Belete (Ethiopia) 1h: 09':26"
5. Failuna Matanga (Tanzania) 1h: 09':36"