Rwanda’s Paralympian Hermas Cliff Muvunyi has announced that he will retire after competing at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
The former world champion in the Men’s 800m T-46 category will represent Rwanda at the Rio Paralympics scheduled for September 7-18. Muvunyi is currently training at Amahoro National Stadium under the guidance of his trainer, Eric Karasira.
The 28-year-old athlete will compete in both the 400m and 1500m T-46 races having qualified for both categories during the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championship last October in Doha, Qatar.
Speaking to Times Sport in an exclusive interview, Muvunyi, who has won over 15 medals in his career, revealed that the Rio Games will be his final shot at winning a Paralympic medal, the only major competition he has never won.
“I think this is the last one for me for sure – I’ve done enough. And I’ve proven myself over and over again and I believe it’s the right time to give the platform to the young generation to step in,” said Muvunyi.
Despite closing the door on future Paralympic games, the Kamonyi district-born athlete, fresh from winning two medals – a gold and silver – at the 2016 Berlin Open Grand Prix last month in Germany, believes his career would mean nothing if he doesn’t win a medal in Rio.
He noted that, “I want to win a medal in Rio because it’s what I have been dreaming of since the start of my career, it can be very disappointing if I fail, but I am very optimistic about my chances.”
The 15th Rio Paralympic Games will have a total of 526 events contested by athletes from over 175 countries.
The Rio Games will also see the introduction of two new sports disciplines namely; Canoeing and Para-triathlon.
In addition to Muvunyi, Rwanda will also be represented by the national women’s sitting volleyball team in the sport.
Since making the Paralympic debut in 2000 in Sydney; Australia, Rwanda has won only one medal (Bronze) in the history of both Paralympics and Olympics, and that was through Jean de Dieu Nkundabera at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, in the Men’s 800m T46.