RWANDA’S full marathon runner Claudette Mukasakindi has vowed to raise the country’s flag high at the 2016 Olympic Games set for August 5-21.
Mukasakindi, who has just returned from a two-month final intensive training camp in Kenya, will head to Brazil for the Olympic Games on August 9.
The 33-year-old runner arrived on Monday along with disqualified Jean Baptiste Simukeka. The duo has been training extensively in the Kenyan high altitude training center of Iten.
Last month, Simukeka was disqualified from competing at the Olympics event on grounds that the competition in which he qualified, wasn’t an IAAF-sanctioned event.
In a phone interview, Mukasakindi revealed that the training camp helped her improve both her personal fitness and speed, adding that her focus is raising the country’s national flag on August, 14 when she will go on the track.
“The training has been successful; I have been training extensively with many world renowned athletes like the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships and 2009 World Half Marathon champion Mary Jepkosgei Keitany. It has boosted my confidence and morale and I hope to do better compared to 2012 Olympics,” said Mukasakindi.
The APR athletics club runner made her debut at the 2012 London Olympics but did not impress in full marathon after finishing 101st with a time of 2:51:07. She later finished in the 11th position in the women’s 10000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
She earned qualification from the Firenze Marathon in Italy, which is officially listed on the Association of the Marathons and Distance Races (AMIS) calendar.
Following Simukeka’s disqualification, Rwanda will now be represented by Mukasakindi, Ambroise Uwiragiye and Salome Nyirarukundo who will compete in the women’s 10,000m category.
The duo of Mukasakindi and Nyiarukundo will fly to Rio de Janeiro on August 9 while Uwiragiye will join them on August 16.