Following his historic second place finish in the men’s full marathon at the Kigali International Peace Marathon, last Sunday. New Athletics Stars (NAS) long distance runner Jean Baptiste Ruvubi has revealed that his next target is to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil from August 5-21.
The 28 year old Ruvubi, who clocked 2:19:03 on Sunday to become the first Rwandan to achieve this feat, is keen on representing Rwanda on the international scene but his current time run is two minutes and three seconds off the qualification mark at the quadrennial event which is 2:17:00.
In an exclusive interview with Times Sport, Ruvubi said, “My next target is to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. I am two minutes off the mark but with the help of the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF), I can achieve this target.”
RAF technical director John Peter Ndacyayisenga told this newspaper that a series of marathons in Europe are being considered including the Amsterdam Marathon scheduled for October 18 in the Dutch capital as well as a couple of others in Italy.
“We are going to fully support him to make sure that he attains the qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We have already identified the Amsterdam Marathon and we are looking at many other marathons across Europe,” explained Ndacyayisenga.
Meanwhile, bronze medallist in the men’s half marathon at the just concluded Kigali Peace Marathon Eric Sebahire and Felicien Muhitira who finished fourth as well as Olympian Claudette Mukasakindi and Clementine Mukandanga will represent Rwanda at the All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville from September 4-19.
Sebahire who qualified for the quadrennial event at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland is three seconds off the target but is confident he can meet the set target.
He said, “Our target going into the All Africa Games is to try and attain the time target for the Rio Olympics which is 28:00:00 and we are training very hard to achieve this.”
Rwanda is yet to win an Olympic medal despite competing in every edition since their debut appearance at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games in the USA.