The Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza has urged Rwanda’s team to this year’s Francophone Games to fight for medals.
The Minister made the plea as he flagged off the team yesterday. The Games will be staged in Beirut, Lebanon from September 26-October 6.
“You are going to the Games to win. You are not going on a tour. The mission is to win and that’s what we want,” he said.
While giving the national flag to the team captain Epiphanie Nyirabarame, he added, “Go and lead your country to success.”
The team which left yesterday aboard Ethiopian airways comprised of the national U-20 football team, table tennis and athletics teams while the Cultural dance team doesn’t leave until Friday.
The Government of Rwanda has spent Rwf110m in sending the team to Beirut.
Rwanda’s long distance ace Dieudonne Disi is the 10,000m defending champion and is pumped up for his title defence after an intensive training stint in France.
Disi scooped a gold medal in the 10,000m in Niger before also securing a bronze medal in the 5000m. Nyirabarame also collected a bronze medal in the 42.195km women marathon.
In football, Rwanda will open their campaign with a tricky tie against Mali on September 27.
They will play West African giants Senegal on September 28 before winding up their preliminary campaign with a tough tie against Egypt on September 30.
The football team, table tennis players Steve Sibomana and Fontaine Mukamuhizi and athletes like Godfrey Rutayisire (5.000m), Sylvain Rukundo (10.000m), Felix Ntirenganya (marathon), Jeanne d’Arc Uwamahoro (800m), Claudette Mukasakindi (5.000m) and Jacqueline Murekatete (5.000m) will be making a maiden appearance at the Games.