Mvuyekure qualifies for London Olympic Games
1. K. Luka (Ken) 02:08:04
2. B. Samson (Ken) 02:08:52
3. T. Abebe (Eth) 02:10:47
13. J.P Mvuyekure (Rwa) 02: 17: 32
19. F. Ntirenganya (Rwa) 02: 21: 02
1. K. Hellen Jemaiyo (Ken) 02:31:11
2. B. Ashete (Eth) 02: 31: 23
3. K. Marina (Rus) 02:31:53
13. E. Nyirabarame (Rwa) 02: 45: 24
LOCAL long distance ace Jean Pierre Mvuyekure ran inside the marathon qualifying ‘B’ standard time for the 2012 Olympic Games in London in yesterday’s Rome International Marathon.
Mvuyekure clocked 2: 17: 32 at the Rome Marathon competition to hit the 02:18:00 laid down by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF).
His colleagues Felix Ntirenganya and two-time Olympian Epiphanie Nyirabarame failed to qualify for London Games after performing below the required Games mark.
Ntirenganya clocked 02: 21: 02, three minutes away from the required mark while Nyirabarame, who was seeking qualification after missing out on the Dubai marathon, clocked 02: 45: 24 respectively. Nyirabarame ran inside the 02:43:00, a qualifying ‘B’ standard time for women.
Meanwhile, Kenyan pair of Luka Kanda and Barmao Samson won gold and silver while Ethiopia’s Tsega Demssew Abebe won bronze in the men’s category.
In the ladies category, Hellen Kimutai beat Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekele and Russia’s Kovakyova Marina to bag gold.
The first three men and women can earn €40,000 (Rwf. 31m), 20,000 (Rwf. 15.7m) and 10,000 (Rwf. 7.8m) respectively.
Mvuyekure became the second Rwandan to qualify for the Summer Olympics scheduled to take place in London, England from July 27 to August 12.
Mvuyekure last don national team jersey in 2004 when he competed in the 10th IAAF World Junior Championship held in Grosetto, Italy were he finished eighth.
On his second outing after eight years, the SEC academy athlete, who has been training in Kenya, has overturned the poor show of Rwandans qualifying for the Olympic Games.
In the previous editions, Rwanda has always sent one (qualified) athlete and other athletes from other disciplines have participated in the games via wildcards.
Cyclists Adrien Niyonshuti was the first athlete to qualify for the Games in February this year.
It took a long time, twenty years to be exact, but, at long last, Rwanda had a cyclist again, who is good enough to represent the country at the Olympic Games.
Niyonshuti (MTN/Qhubeka) made cycling history when he finished fourth in the pro-elite men’s race of the African Championship at Jonkershoek, near Stellenbosch.
In doing so, Niyonshuti did not merely qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in London, he was also the first Rwandan mountain biker ever to do so.
The last time that Rwandan cyclists competed at the Olympic Games was in Barcelona in 1992, when a team of six road cyclists participated.
In the Paralympic Games which will be held a month later in London, Hermas Cliff Muvunyi and Theogene Hakizimana are the only athletes qualified to compete in 400m T46 race and power lifting categories.
Contact email: bonnie.mugabe[at]newtimes.co.rw