LONG DISTANCE runner Claudette Mukasakindi has been tasked by the Rwanda Athletics Federation to put up a spirited defence of her 10000m gold medal when she takes part in the 2013 Francophone Games in Nice, France this month.
Rwanda will be represented by two athletes; Mukasakindi and Eric Sebahire, both in the 10000m category, in the Games which get underway on September 6 to 17.
Four years ago, Mukasakindi won gold in the women’s 10,000 meters after clocking 35 minutes, 32 seconds and 60 microseconds ahead of silver and bronze winners Bouchra Chaabi and Maria Laghrissi, respectively, both from Morocco.
And Johnson Rukundo, the secretary general of Rwanda Athletics Federation, believes the Rwandan athlete is capable of shinning again this year.
“Mukasakindi’s task is simple; to replicate her performance of four years ago in Lebanon and do us and country proud once again. Similarly, Sebahire has his sights set on nothing less than gold,” said Rukundo.
Speaking to Times Sport recently, Mukasakindi said, “I am in good form having had ample preparations and I am confident I will successfully defend my title.”
Meanwhile, full marathon runners Frederick Habakurama and two-time Olympian Epiphanie Nyirabarame have been left frustrated after organisers scrapped marathon races off schedule.
The pair had spent three months training in high altitude areas of Ngong in Kenya.
Rwanda’s contingent for the Francophone Games which include cycling, football, athletics, swimming, boxing and Judo teams left the country of Friday ahead of the Games which begin on Friday.