SYLVAIN Rukundo was one of seven athletes who failed to finish Sunday’s World Cross Country Championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Rukundo, Rwanda’s only representative after the rest of the team was denied entry into England, abandoned the 12km race in the early stages citing very cold weather and an equally challenging muddy course.
Kenya’s Joseph Ebuya clocked 33 minutes to win the event while Eritrea’s Medhin Teklemariam and Moses Kipsiro of Uganda finished second and third respectively after clocking 33 minutes-six seconds and 33 minutes-10 seconds.
Rwanda’s team which had to connect to Bydgoszcz via London was denied entry into England because they did not have visas.
The team included Claudette Mukasakindi, Pelagie Musengimana and Francine Ingabire for the women’s 8km race and Felix Ntirenganya, Eric Sebahire who along with Gervais Hakizimana (France) and Rukundo would battle it out in the men’s 12km race.
This should be a lesson for the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF), who also missed out on the 2008 edition for the same reason.