Men’s 1500m T-46 final 11:06pm
Rwandan Paralympian Hermas Muvunyi has opted to compete in only the 1500m T-46 category at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games slated for September 7-18 in Brazil despite also qualifying for the 400m T-46 race.
Muvunyi, 27, who is the team captain of Team Rwandan at the quadrennial world’s biggest multisport event for people with physical disabilities, confirmed the development on Friday after arriving in Rio de Janeiro only to find out that the two races are scheduled on the same day, September 16.
He qualified for both categories during the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championship last October in Doha, Qatar.
“I’m extremely disappointed, because there is no way athletes can compete in both races on the same day, so I have decided to focus on 1500m where I feel I stand higher chances of winning a medal. Unless the schedule is changed between now and September 16, I will only compete in one race,” said Muvunyi.
According to the current time table, it is scheduled that on September 16, sprint runners will compete in 400m semi-finals at 3:30pm Kigali time) before middle distance runners get on track for 1500m final at 11:06pm, both races taking place at João Havelange Stadium.
“I have already started training and the training grounds are excellent, everything is in place and all I am focused on is nothing other than winning a medal, we are here not on a tour but make the country proud,” added the former world champion in the 800m T-46 category.
On his debut at the 2012 London Paralympics, Muvunyi finished fifth in 400m T-46 clocking 49.59, a regional record.
Meanwhile, Team Rwanda that includes the women sitting volleyball team was officially welcomed on Friday by the International Paralympic Committee delegation in Rio and was given a tour around the Paralympic village that will host all the Paralympians.
The games are expected to attract a total of 4500 athletes from 176 nations competing in 528 different disciplines in 23 sports.