Niyonshuti in action as Rio Olympics begin

After a four-year wait, the 2016 Summer Olympics officially opened on Friday.Over 26000 athletes will compete in over 40 sporting categories at the global event.
Niyonshuti will hit the road for the cycling road race today. / File.
Niyonshuti will hit the road for the cycling road race today. / File.

Today
Adrien Nyonshuti – Men’s Cycling Road race 2:30pm
Joannah Umurungi 
– Swimming women’s 100m butterfly heats 6:28pm

Aug. 11
Eloi Imaniraguha 
– Swimming men’s 50m freestyle heats 6:02pm

Aug. 12
Salome Nyirarukundo 
– Athletics women’s 10,000m final 4:10pm

Aug. 14
Claudette Mukasakindi 
– Athletics women’s marathon 4:10pm

Aug. 21
Nathan Byukusenge – Cycling; 
Cross Country MT. Bike 5:30pm

Ambroise Uwiragiye 
– Athletics; men’s marathon 4:30pm

After a four-year wait, the 2016 Summer Olympics officially opened on Friday.Over 26000 athletes will compete in over 40 sporting categories at the global event.

Just hours after the opening ceremony, Team Rwanda captain and flag bearer, Adrien Niyonshuti will today hit the road for the cycling road race, starting at 2:30pm Rwandan time before swimmer Joannah Umurungi takes to the pool for the women’s 100m butterfly heats, at 6:28pm.

The 29-year-old Niyonshuti, who arrived in Rio on Monday from Poland where he competed in the Tour of Poland as part of his final preparations, will be making his second Olympics appearance after representing Rwanda in the cross-country mountain bike race during the 2012 Olympics in London.

On Wednesday, the South African UCI Continental Team Dimension Data cyclist was involved in a minor road accident while in training that left him with a bruised shoulder.

However, speaking to Saturday Sport in a phone interview yesterday, the Rwamagana-born rider revealed that he has recovered and is all set for the biggest race of his life, where he is going to compete against the best riders in the world, including 2016 Tour de France winner, Chris Froome of Britain.

“I have had pretty good preparations despite a small accident on Wednesday, but that is part of our sport and it was not serious, I am ready for the competition on Saturday,” said Niyonshuti.

In addition to Froome, the Rio Olympics Cycling Road race will also feature the likes of Tour de France stage winner Ion Izagirre of Spain and his teammate, Alejandro Valverde among others.

The race will cover a total of 236km with an estimated elevation gain of 3,600m. The race starts in Fort Copacabana before heading west along the Brazilian coast line. There’s one short climb after about 10km, but apart from that the first section of the race is largely flat.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old swimmer Umurungi will also be out to make a memorable Olympic debut in the women’s 100m butterfly heats, vying for a slot for the semi-finals later in the day—the final is scheduled for tomorrow.

In a separate interview, she said, “Everything has gone well and I feel honored to be representing my country and I hope to progress from the heats and make Rwanda proud.”

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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