After qualifying for the IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships set for July 19-24 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, long distance runner Salome Nyirarukundo has vowed to write history at the six-day event.
Nyirarukundo, 19, together with Beatha Nishimwe (18) and Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro (19) attained the qualification standards during national junior trials at Amahoro national stadium on Sunday.
Nyirarukundo, who is affiliated to APR athletics club, has proved to be among Rwanda’s best promising, after qualifying for the women’s 5000m after posting 15:57.80. The entry time for the race is 16:40.00.
“It is a great achievement to qualify with such a time, which I think proves that I can even do better in the main event,” said Nyirarukundo in an interview with Times Sport after the trials.
She further revealed that following her recent success that includes winning last year’s Tanzania Rotary Half Marathon, the inaugural Kigali HeForShe Marathon plus finishing fourth in Kigali International Half marathon, she can actually raise Rwanda’s flag.
“This will be a world competition where Kenyans, Eritreans and Ethiopians are always favourites to win but I think time has come for us (Rwandans) particularly in this women category to challenge them, and yes everything is possible,” she vowed.
The trio will be making their debut at the IAAF World Junior Championships. This will also be the first time for Rwandan athletes to compete in the World Championships after going through trials, as they have been participating on invitations.
Rwanda has until end of June to qualify more athletes when they participate in the Regional Junior Athletics Championships scheduled for April 28-30 in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania.