RWANDA’S duo of Eloi Imaniraguha and Johanna Umurungi are set to impress at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Barra Olympic Park.
The two swimmers will be making their memorable debut appearance on invitation, and were the first Rwandan athletes to arrive in Rio de Janeiro. Imaniraguha arrived on July 28 from Phuket Thailand while Umurungi set foot in Rio on July 29 from Torino Italy.
Speaking to Times Sport in a phone interview, the duo revealed that they are determined to put on a good fight for a podium finish after rigorous preparations. “My goal is to win a medal in this competition and make my country proud; I have had a great opportunity to prepare excellently in Thailand for the past 12 months and it has improved my experience and my abilities-I feel very optimistic to do well,” said 21-year-old Imaniraguha.
Imaniraguha who currently stands at 25 seconds, just over three seconds behind the qualification (22.27) will get on track on August 11 in the men’s 50m freestyle heats vying for a slot in the semi-finals scheduled later on that day and finals set for August 12.
In a separate interview, 20-year-old Umurungi based in Italy said she is ready for the competition having trained for over a year with her personal coach Jacopo Tempo in Italy.
“I have been training for the whole year with my coach, though it has been difficult because it’s not easy to study and do sport at the same time, I want to do my best,” said Umurungi.
Umurungi who stands at one minute and thirteen seconds will compete in the women’s 100m butterfly heats on August 6 also seeking to make a cut for the semi-finals later that day and finals scheduled the next day.