Rwandan athletes to train in Kenya
RWANDAN athletes have opted for the Kenyan highlands for training in a bid to end the country’s medal drought at the world’s biggest sports event – the Olympics.
Talking to Times Sport at the end of the Olympics earlier this week, national team head coach Innocent Rwabuhihi revealed that plans are underway to make sure this initiative comes to life.
“Honestly speaking we always start preparations very late and this has greatly affected our performance at the Olympics. As a federation we are going to send these athletes to Kenya where they can get intensive training early enough,” a concerned Rwabuhihi said.
Rwabuhihi admitted that the main target at the London Games was not to win any medals but to gain experience and post personal best records since it was the first time the four runners were competing at this level.
As soon as the athletes get enough rest, they will be sent to Kenya to prepare for the upcoming international athletics season which starts in January, he said.
According to Rwabuhihi, this will give them good preparations since they will be in the hands of good trainers.
Kenya has over twenty training centres in the Rift Valley, most especially in Eldoret (Western part) with the most popular one being Iten where the current men’s 800m world record holder and Olympian David Rudisha (Kenya) as well as Great Britain’s double Olympic gold medalist in the men’s 5000m and 10000m, Mo Farah and current women’s marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe train.
Also Uganda’s Olympic gold medalist in the men’s marathon Stephen Kiproitich and USA’s Galen Rupp, who bagged silver in the men’s 10000m trained at the same high altitude facility that stands 2400 meters above sea level.
Rwabuhihi further added that the current athletics administration which has just come on board after it suffered setbacks in the build up to the Olympics, has already laid out plans to have the athletes compete at many athletics events on the international level for exposure.
“We also call upon corporate companies to come on board and support us as we start our preparations for the 2016 Rio Games that are four years from now,” Rwabuhihi pointed out.
Rwanda has never won an Olympic medal since its first participation at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.