C’wealth Games: Ishimwe to race in 800 metres today

RWANDA international middle distance runner Alice Ishimwe will be marking her debut in Commonwealth Games this morning, competing in women’s 800m race. 

The ongoing XXI Commonwealth Games started on April 4 and ends on Sunday at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.


Ishimwe, 20, is the last Rwandan female runner of the three female representatives in athletics to compete at the prestigious multidiscipline event. Compatriots Beatha Nishimwe and Salome Nyirarukundo raced on Monday in 1,500m and 10,000m, respectively.


Long distance runner Nyirarukundo, who was one of the country’s hopefuls for a medal, put up an average performance to finish in the 11th place from a starting list of 19 runners after using 32 minutes, 13 seconds and 74 microseconds.


Uganda’s Stella Chensang claimed gold in 31:45:30, followed by Stacy Ndiwa (31:46:36) of Kenya while Uganda’s Mercyline Chelangat (31:48:41) got bronze.

In the 1,500m fray, Nishimwe failed to qualify for the final after finishing ninth out of ten contenders in heat 1 of the preliminary round.

To qualify for the final in women’s 800m race, Ishimwe who has a personal best of 2:13.10, will have to overcome stiff challenge from heat 3 arch-rivals such as Lynsey Sharp of Scotland with a personal best of 1:57.69, Kenya’s Emily Cherotich who has a personal best of 1:58.25 as well as Ugandan star Winnie Nanyondo with a personal best of 1:58.63.

Heat 3 is comprised of eight contestants from eight different countries, and only the best three will advance to the final, set to also take place today. The preliminary round was set to start at 4:36am (12:36p.m) Kigali time.

After today’s events, Rwanda will still have one representative in athletics yet to compete: Alexis Nizeyimana, in full-marathon, which is slated for April 15.


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