National Para-Taekwondo team coach Allen Irene Bagire believes Rwandan fighters have what it takes to win medals at the World Para-Taekwondo Championships slated for October in England.
Rwanda dominated the recently-concluded Africa Para-Taekwondo Open in Kigali and the national coach says he’s optimistic the team will qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020.
“The recent African Championships boosted our confidence and chances to qualify for the Tokyo Games. We accumulated half (40 points) of the points that put us in a better position,” Bagire told Times Sport on Saturday.
He added: “The next mission is to perform better at the World Para-Taekwondo Championships in England so we can collect the remaining 40 points to earn the ticket to the 2020 Paralympics Games.”
At the recently-concluded second edition of the Africa Para-Taekwondo Open held at Amahoro Indoor Stadium in Remera, Rwanda, making their first appearance, proved good for their opponents, winning six medals (2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze).
Jean de la Croix Nikwigize won gold in the K41 male under-61kg category, as wellmas Consolee Rukundo in the K42 female under-58kg. Consolee Rukundo claimed silver in the K42 female under-58kg, along with Jean Claude Niringiyimana (K44 male under-61kg) and Jean Marie Vianney Bizumuremyi (K42 male under-61kg).
Jean Pierre Manirakiza won bronze in the K42 Male under-61kg category.
Earlier this year, London won the rights to host the 2017 World Para Taekwondo Championships – for the first time. Samsun in Turkey hosted the last World Championships in September 2015.
The competition will take place on October 19 at the Copper Box Arena, the venue for handball and modern pentathlon events at the 2012 Olympics and goalball matches at the 2012 Paralympics.
It will take place alongside the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Grand Prix series.