The national athletics team has entered residential training camp ahead of the forthcoming 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships slated for March 26 in Kampala, Uganda.
The team of 12 athletes, including 10 men and two women, began extensive preparations on Monday in the high altitude of Gicumbi District, Northern Province, under the guidance of coaches Innocent Rwabuhihi, Emmanuel Havugimana and Donatien Ndagijimana.
Rwanda will compete in two categories namely; men’s senior category and mixed relay, according to Rwanda Athletics Federation secretary general Johnson Rukundo. The senior men’s team will later be reduced to six athletes, who will then travel to Uganda.
“The athletes entered training camp on Monday and will stay in Gicumbi until they head to Uganda. For the senior men’s category, we shall select six out of the nine athletes in camp, while for the mixed relay category, we shall take the four we have already picked,” said Rukundo.
The nine athletes in the men senior category 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 are; Alexis Nizeyimana, Eric Sebahire, Noel Hitimana and Jean Baptiste Simukeka (APR Athletics Club) and David Gakuru from National Athletics Stars (NAS).
The mixed relay team comprises Salome Nyirarukundo, Beatha Nishimwe, Felix Uwimana and Olivier Niyonzima.
The one-day IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be held at the Kololo Independence Ceremonial grounds in Kampala.
Rwanda will be seeking to win their first medal at the event, having finished in eighth during the 2015 edition staged in the Chinese city of Guiyang.