Rwanda’s second batch team to the 16th Africa Athletics Championships arrived yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ahead of the event scheduled for April 30-May 5 in the high altitude Abebe Bekila stadium.
The eight-man team composed of seven athletes and team doctor departed yesterday evening aboard Ethiopia Airways.
The athletes include Islam Mulinda (200m), Claudette Mukasakindi (10.000m), Joseph Nzirorerwa (800m), Godfrey Rutayisire (1500m) and the relay-trio of Emmanuel Ntakiyimana, Innocent Hakuzimana and Etienne Gashagaza as well as team doctor Patrick Rutamu.
International sports kit manufacturers, PUMA has provided the Rwandan team with the kit for the continental championship.
This batch is expected to link up with the first batch of six athletes that has spent over ten days intensive training in Ethiopia courtesy of the Confederation of African Ministries of Youth and Sport.
The first batch includes: Sylvain Rukundo(10.000m), Cyriaque Ndayikengurikiye (5.000m), Musa Bizimana (400m), Jean d’Arc Uwamahoro (800m), Sophia Kanakuze.(200m) and Angelline Nyiransabimana (10.000m) and Emmanuel Habiyambere (coach) respectively.
The second team’s trip to Ethiopia has been fully facilitated by the National Olympic Committee (RNOC) with an aim of giving as many athletes as possible a chance to attain the minimum standard A time for the Beijing Olympic Games.
So far only two athletes; Dieudonné Disi (10000m) and Epiphanie Nyirabarame (women full marathon) have qualified for Beijing Games.
Three other Rwandan athletes including two swimmers (Pamela Ngirimbabazi and either Aimable Habimana or Jackson Niyomugabo) and one for Paralympics (Jean de Dieu Nkundabera, 800m) have also qualified.
Rwanda never won anything at the 2006 African senior championships held in Bambous and Port Louis in Mauritius.