The National taekwondo team will seek qualification to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games when the World Taekwondo Championships get underway today at the Traktor Arena in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Seventeen-year-old Delphine Uwababyeyi will face her first challenge against an opponent from Botswana in the under 46kg while Regis Iyumva will also be up against an opponent from Morocco in the under 58kg.
“We prepared well for the World Championship and our target is to make it to the quarterfinals. It will not be easy but we have to do our best because we want to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics,” said Allan Irene Bagire, the national head coach.
This is the second time Rwanda is competing at the World Championship having made a debut appearance at the 2013 edition in Pueblo, Mexico where they finished 40th in the world and sixth on the African continent.
The rest of the team includes a strong field of experienced black belt taekwondo fighters including Captain Placide Bagabo (under 63kg), Zura Mushambokazi (under 49kg), Savio Nizeyimana (under 68kg) and Martin Nduwayezu (under 54kg) with several accolades to show off on the regional level but at the international stage, they face their biggest test against world class competitors.
The top six taekwondo fighters on the World Taekwondo Federation Olympic rankings and the top two at every continental qualification tournament will qualify for the Rio Olympic Games in all the four weight categories for both the men and women’s categories.