Veteran urges athletes over London Games

RWANDA’s former long distance ace Mathias Ntawukuriryayo has urged local athletes to seek early qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Ntawukuriryayo believes that one reason why Rwanda has always fielded few athletes at the Games is because most athletes want to qualify at the last minute.
Dieudonne Disi (C) and Slyvain Rukundo (R) are Rwanda’s top long and middle distance runners, both are based in Europe. (File photo)
Dieudonne Disi (C) and Slyvain Rukundo (R) are Rwanda’s top long and middle distance runners, both are based in Europe. (File photo)

RWANDA’s former long distance ace Mathias Ntawukuriryayo has urged local athletes to seek early qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Ntawukuriryayo believes that one reason why Rwanda has always fielded few athletes at the Games is because most athletes want to qualify at the last minute.

“Athletes should start chasing for the minimum qualification times as early as possible. This is good for them because it helps them prepare well for the Games without putting so much stress and pressure on themselves,” the 45-year-old reasoned.

Ntawukuriryayo is currently working with Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) to find agents for Rwanda’s upcoming athletes.

“It is essential that athletes get good training abroad because we don’t have the facilities here,” he added.

Already, long distance runners Eric Sebahire, Felix Ntirenganya and Francophone Games gold medalist Claudette Mukasakindi are on the verge of joining Sylvain Rukundo and Jean Baptist Simuceka in France and Italy.

Ntawukuriryayo was one of Rwanda’s acclaimed athletes in the 90s. He started as a 10km specialist but later upgraded to half-marathon and 42km.

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