Early preparations key, says Olympic chief Habineza

After a dismal performance at the just ended Youth Olympic Games (YOG) staged in China, Rwanda Olympic Committee wants federations to take the issue of preparations very serious ahead of future games.

After a dismal performance at the just ended Youth Olympic Games (YOG) staged in China, Rwanda Olympic Committee wants federations to take the issue of preparations very serious ahead of future games.

The Secretary General of Rwanda Olympic Committee, Ahmed Habineza told Times Sport yesterday that Rwandan junior athletes posted mixed results but failed to translate the performance into winning medals as they lacked experience and exposure.

He said, “Our athletes performed to their best considering that some were making maiden debuts in the Games. Our athletes need to be engaged in challenging competitions in a bid to unearth athletes capable of winning medals at such global events,”

“From a general perspective, the Olympic committee should not be charged with preparing athletes. It is the responsibility of the federations and that’s why we still ask our federations to carry on the role as mandated,”

Habineza noted that as they seek to use winning athletes in future games, athletes need to be engaged in many international events as part of preparing them to excel in four to five years to come.

“So many lessons have been learnt in Nanjing and though we might have talented athletes, they need experience and exposure to realise their dream of reaching the top. It’s high time we start preparations for 2018 Argentina YGO Games in order to avoid the same story of returning home empty handed,” added Habineza.

Rwanda was represented by ten boys and five girls in four disciplines namely; swimming, athletics, beach volleyball and cycling.

Swimmer Abdul Rahman Gatete Babu competed in 100m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.
The three runners included; Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro (3000m), James Sugira (1500m) and Venantie Mukandayisenga, (1500m).

Seraphine Mukantambara and Lea Uwimbabazi competed in beach volleyball girls' category while Elias Ndagano and Sylvestre Ndayisabye took part in the boys' contest. Clementine Niyonsaba and Benitha Uwamarayika took part in cycling.

They all returned back without any medal but their performance showed that Rwanda was not far from winning medals in major sporting events.

“The results clearly show that we are developing. It is not easy to compete at such an event but all our athletes managed to improve. This is the reason that I strongly feel the presence of challenging competitions and good preparations would help local athletes to step up their performances ahead of international competitions,” noted Habineza.