Rwanda Para Taekwondo team will be looking to take advantage of home support to excel at the second edition of the African Para-Taekwondo Open that gets underway on Friday (today) afternoon and will run until April 2 at Amahoro Indoor Stadium in Kigali.
Despite being ranked number first in the East African region, this is the first time that Rwanda will be competing in a Para Taekwondo competition that is meant for martial artists with physical disabilities and impairments.
The annual edition has attracted a total of 18 countries from all over the world including hosts Rwanda.
Rwanda has fielded a total of 15 athletes including one female and team captain Jean Marie Vianney Bizumuremyi is confident about the hosts’ chance of winning the three-day tournament.
“We are well prepared for the competition, we have had excellent preparations and I feel this is our opportunity to showcase our potential. I believe Rwandans will turn up in big numbers to support us,” Bizumuremyi told Times Sport.
The team, under the guidance of head coach Allan Irene Bagire, comprises; Bizumuremyi, Dieudonne Nsanzumukiza, Dieudonne Safari, Emmanuel Kamanzi, Louis Bizimungu, Rachid Nyunganira, Parfait Hakizimana, Eriezel Tuyishime.
Others are; Gad Niyitegeka, Jean de la Croix Nikwigize, Jean Pierre Imanirakiza, Vincent Dusabimana, Wellars Nteziryayo, Jean Claude Niringiyimana and Consolee Rukundo, the only girl on the team.
The other 17 countries that will participate include; Ghana, Comoros, United States of America, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Uzbekistan, Niger, Mozambique, Serbia, Nigeria, Lesotho, Morocco, DR Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia.
Results from participants from the African countries will be counted towards the K40 G4 world ranking points while athletes from non-African countries will earn points towards G2 world rankings.