Two-time Olympian Épiphanie Nyirabarame believes Rwanda’s duo of Claudette Mukasakindi and Salome Nyirarukundo have the potential to post impressive times at the ongoing 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The duo is expected to land in Rio de Janeiro today where Mukasakindi will represent the country in the women’s marathon on Sunday, at 2:30pm while Nyirarukundo will compete in the women’s 10,000m on Friday, at 4:10pm, at the Olympic Stadium.
Speaking to Times Sport on Tuesday, Nyirabarame, who is marathon national record holder, said, “Both of them have had excellent preparations, and there is no reason why they cannot challenge for better positions in their respective competitions.”
Mukasakindi, 34, will be making her second outing at the quadrennial event, having competed at the London Olympics four years ago while 19-year-old Nyirarukundo is seeking to make a memorable debut.
Another Rwandan, Ambroise Uwiragiye, who is based in the Netherlands, will make his Olympics debut, competing in the men’s marathon.
“For them, the strongest weapon they need is self-confidence and mental strength because it helps to overcome the pressure of the big profile names that you’re will be competing against and then set your targets higher,” added the 34-year-old Nyirabarame, who is affiliated to APR athletics club.
Nyirabaramé first competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and completed the women's marathon, where she finished 54th with a time of 2:52:50. Her first appearance was in Beijing in 2008 where she finished 66th in the women's marathon.
She, however, registered her personal best time at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany, when she completed the run in the women's marathon, finishing in 26th place, with a time of 2:33:59, which is also a national record.