Ankle injury ruined my Rio target - Mukasakindi

Rwanda’s Claudette Mukasakindi posted her worst time in the women full marathon on Sunday at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which the 33-year-old blamed on an ankle injury she sustained three days before the race.
Mukasakindi poses for a photo in Rio before the women’s marathon competition on Sunday where she posted her worst time due to an ankle injury. (Courtesy)
Mukasakindi poses for a photo in Rio before the women’s marathon competition on Sunday where she posted her worst time due to an ankle injury. (Courtesy)

Rwanda’s Claudette Mukasakindi posted her worst time in the women full marathon on Sunday at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which the 33-year-old blamed on an ankle injury she sustained three days before the race.

Mukasakindi had vowed to post an impressive time compared to what she posted on her Olympic debut four years ago in London, but she could only manage to finish 126th out of 133 runners, who completed the 42km race—157 athletes started the race.

She clocked three hours, 5 minutes and 57 seconds, which was way below the time she posted in London when she finished 101st with a time of 2:51:07.

“I feel very sad because I had set myself a target. I sustained an ankle injury while training three days before the race but it was not serious and I never thought it would affect my performance, but after 21km I started to feel pain and after 25km, the pain became more severe,” Mukasakindi told Times Sport in a phone interview from Rio.

She noted that, “At that stage, I could not maintain my rhythm but my aim was to finish the race, which fortunately, I did. Of course, I am not happy with my time but I know why I posted (that time), if it was not for the injury, I would’ve done a lot better.”

Kenyan Jemima Jelagat Sumgong won gold in the women's marathon in two hours, 24 minutes and four seconds, becoming the first Kenyan woman to take the title. Bahrain's Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa claimed silver in 2:24:13 and Ethiopian Mare Dibaba snatched the bronze in 2:24:30.

Mukasakindi was the fifth Rwandan to compete in Rio, and the latest to fail to impress at the world’s biggest sporting event.

Cyclist and Team Rwanda captain Adrien Niyoshuti was the first in action in the Men’s Road Race, but his bid to make history ended prematurely after he failed to finish the 236km competition.

Swimmer Johannah Umurungi was the second but also failed to make the cut in the women’s 100m butterfly heats after finishing 44th out of 45 competitors, using 1:11:92.

She was followed by male swimmer Eloi Imaniraguha and it was same story as he too failed to qualify from the heats in 50m freestyle after finishing last in heat 4, posting 26:43 before 18-year-old Salome Nyirarukundo finished in 27th in the women’s 10,000 meters final clocking 32:07:80.

Cyclist Nathan Byukusenge will compete in the men’s cross-country (Mountain bike race) on Sunday while Ambroise Uwiragiye will be in action in the Men’s marathon on the same day.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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