Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) has released the final list of the athletes that will represent the country at the forthcoming 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships slated for March 26 in Uganda.
The 12 athletes include 10 men and two women that will compete in two categories, namely men’s senior category and mixed riley, according to RAF Secretary General Johnson Rukundo.
The senior men’s team is comprised of nine athletes but after the final training camp that will start next week, only six athletes will be selected to travel to Uganda, Rukundo said.
The nine include Mountain Classic Athletics club trio of James Sugira (the 2017 national cross country winner), Felicien Muhitira, and Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro, as well as Primien Manirafasha of Kamonyi Athletics Club.
Others include APR’s quartet of Alexis Nizeyimana, Eric Sebahire, Noel Hitimana and Jean Baptiste Simukeka, as well as David Gakuru from National Athletics Stars (NAS).
“The athletes will enter residential training camp on February 27, next week in Gicumbi District and will stay there until they head to Uganda but for the senior men’s category we shall only take six from the nine while for the mixed riley category, we shall take the four we have selected,” said Rukundo
The mixed riley team is led by Rwanda’s most decorated female athletes Salome Nyirarukundo and Beatha Nishimwe, while the men’s is led by Felix Uwimana and Olivier Niyonzima.
In Gicumbi, the athletes will train under the close guidance of coaches Innocent Rwabuhihi, Emmanuel Havugimana and Donatien Ndagijimana.
Earlier, the federation had preferred that the athletes hold their training camp in Uganda; however, Rukundo said the plan has since been called off and they will train from here instead.
The one-day IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be hosted at the Kololo Independence ceremonial ground in Kampala.
Rwanda will be looking to try and win their first ever medal at the prestigious event having finished in eighth during the 2015 edition staged in the Chinese city of Guiyang.