Rwanda’s number one tennis star Ernest Habiyambere has revealed that he can’t wait to make his debut at the forthcoming 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games scheduled for July 19-23 in Nassau, Bahamas.
This will be Rwanda’s first appearance at the youth event since joining the Commonwealth group of nations in 2009, despite being regular participants in the Commonwealth Games (for seniors) since 2010.
Rwanda will be represented in three disciplines, namely; tennis, beach volleyball (women) and cycling.
Habiyambere and his coach, Sylvain Rutikanga, along with the beach volleyball team of Penelope Musabyimana and Valentine Munezero, led by coach Christophe Mudahinyuka, left for the Bahamas on Sunday.
The delegation was led by Jean de Dieu Mukundiyukuri as the Chef de Mission, while Hermine Egerma will be in charge of the girls’ team. Cyclist Eric Nzafashwanayo and his trainer Nathan Byukusengenge will travel on Monday.
Habiyambere, 18, told Times Sport: “I feel more than ready, I have been training extensively for about a-month-and-a-half and I also competed in the Britam Kenya Open where I reached the quarter-finals as well as the Goma Open, and I can’t wait to make my first appearance in the Commonwealth Games.”
In 2015, Habiyambere was ranked first in the East African region in the U-16 category, fifth in Africa, and 800th globally in the ITF World Junior rankings.
“This is a big stage for us, it’s an opportunity to showcase our talent and I want to go there and show what I can do; I am keeping my expectations low because this is my first experience but, of course, I anticipate a good performance,” said the youngster.
The Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) is an international multi-sport event organised by the Commonwealth Games Federation. The Games are held every four years with the current Commonwealth Games format and age limitation at 14 to 18 years.