Rwanda U20 men’s national handball team is aiming to put an end to the 7-year Africa Zone 5B International Handball Federation (IHF) Challenge title drought when this year’s edition starts on December 16-22 in Mukono, Uganda.
Rwanda has been a regular participant in the biennial tournament since 2009; however they are yet to win the competition that attracts the best young talents in the East African region.
In a bid to end the title jinx, the 16-player national team, under the guidance of head coach Antoine Ntabanganyimana and his assistant Anaclet Bagirishya, has been camping at University of Rwanda Huye Campus since December 7 in preparation for the event.
The tournament will attract the six East African countries namely; Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and South Sudan.
Rwanda has been drawn in group B along with hosts Uganda and South Sudan while Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania are in group A. The top two teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals.
“It is not an easy group because we are together with the hosts and defending champions Uganda, but we have a strong team that can compete against anyone and we are ready to do our best to finish among the top two and qualify for the semi-finals,” says assistant coach Bagirishya.
In 2014, Rwanda competed in the men and women categories, finishing third in both categories, behind Uganda and Kenya. The team is expected to depart for Uganda on Thursday.