Middle distance runner James Sugira is hoping to make a memorable debut when he leads Rwanda at the forthcoming 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships slated for March 26 in Kampala, Uganda.
The highly rated 19-year-old Mountain Classic Athletics runner is the reigning national cross country champion and will captain the national team at the biggest competition in international cross country running.
The youngster along with his teammates, are currently in a residential training camp in the high altitude of Gicumbi District, Northern Province.
“This is the biggest cross country competition in the world and I am doing my best to be as ready as possible because my target is to make a memorable debut. Obviously it will be a tough race with the world’s best cross country athletes but I’m optimistically looking forward to the competition,” said Sugira.
The one-day IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be held at the Kololo Independence Ceremonial grounds in Kampala. Rwanda will compete in two categories namely; men’s senior category and mixed relay.
Sugira will be competing at this course for the second time having competed at the recent pre-2017 Cross Country Championships race, which was aimed at giving athletes of both countries a test of the course ahead of the main event.
Rwanda fielded four athletes and Sugira was the best performer, coming in the 15th place after clocking 30 minutes, 37 seconds and 30 microseconds, while Primien Manirafasha finished 21st after using 30:59:30.
Alexis Nizeyimana finished 23rd posting 31:09:31 and Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro came in the 29th place in a time of 31:26:31.
The eight athletes who will compete in the men’s category include; Sugira, Felicien Muhitira, Myasiro Manirafasha, Alexis Nizeyimana, Eric Sebahire, Noel Hitimana and Jean Baptiste Simukeka.
The mixed relay team comprises Salome Nyirarukundo, Beatha Nishimwe, Felix Uwimana and Olivier Niyonzima.