Rwanda’s hopes to clinch a medal at the ongoing IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland have continued to fade after Salome Nyirarukundo fell ill ahead of her debut in the games.
The 19-year old was set to get on track on Saturday in the girls’ 5,000m after three of her compatriots failed to make the podium on the first day.
According to reports from Bydgoszcz, Nyirarukundo has been downed by high fever and cough, which is being attributed to a severely cold weather.
The Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) secretary general, Johnson Rukundo, who is the head of the delegation to Poland, revealed that the APR athletic club runner is currently bedridden at their hotel.
“Salome is receiving treatment and we, together with medical staff here, are trying our best to see if she can make it. She is improving and insisting that she wants to compete, but we shall make that decision on Friday,” said Rukundo.
Nyirarukundo was hoping to use the biennial tournament for preparations ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – the first time she’ll be participating in Olympic Games.
According to Rukundo, Rwandan athletes have suffered from the cold weather in Poland, which, he says has undermined their performance.
James Sugira, Honorine Iribagiza and Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro were the first athletes on track on Tuesday but none managed to finish in medal-winning positions.
Today, it will be 18-year old Beatha Nishimwe, who will have a shot at winning a medal for her country when she competes in the girls’ 1500m race.
The country is represented by five athletes in the competition.