Rio Paralympics: Muvunyi to compete in 400m and 1500m

Rwanda’s medal hopeful Hermas Muvunyi will have to compete in two races on the same day at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games that officially got underway on Wednesday night. Although the athlete qualified for the two races, he had opted to compete in only one since both will be on the same day.
Muvunyi trains in Rio as he prepares to compete in both the 400m and 1500m T-46 category races on September 16. (Courtesy)
Muvunyi trains in Rio as he prepares to compete in both the 400m and 1500m T-46 category races on September 16. (Courtesy)

Sept 16

Men’s 400m T-46 semi-final              3:30pm

 

Men’s 1500m T-46 final      11:06pm

 

Rwanda’s medal hopeful Hermas Muvunyi will have to compete in two races on the same day at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games that officially got underway on Wednesday night. Although the athlete qualified for the two races, he had opted to compete in only one since both will be on the same day.

 

However, this will not be possible for the athlete after being told by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in Rio that pulling out from one of the races is against the rules and regulations. This leaves him with the option of competing in both or withdrawing from the whole competition, according to the current rules and regulations governing the Paralympic Games.

“I have been informed that according to IPC rules and regulations, every athlete is obliged to compete in all the disciplines that they qualified for, incase he/she pulls out from one, he is barred from the whole competition, so I have no choice but agree to compete in both,” Muvunyi told Times Sport by phone from Rio.

Muvunyi, who is the Team Rwanda flag-bearer, will now have to prepare for both 400m T-46 and 1500m T-46 races slated for September 16 at at João Havelange Stadium.

The 27-year-old had announced he would only race in the 1500m category, despite qualifying for both categories during the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championship last October in Doha, Qatar.

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, a difference of eight hours for athletes who will compete in both races.

Muvunyi, a former world champion in the Men’s 800m T-46 category, added that, “I am training very well, with much focus on 1500m where I feel I stand higher chances of winning a medal.”

On his debut at the 2012 London Paralympics, Muvunyi finished fifth in 400m T-46 clocking 49.59, a regional record.

Meanwhile, the sitting volleyball team begin their campaign tomorrow (Saturday) in Group B against China, who are ranked number one in the world, before facing Iran (No.9) on September 12 and then USA (ranked 2) two days later.

Group A has Ukraine, Canada, Russia and hosts Brazil. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.

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