RWANDA athletics team will negotiate a tough regional challenge without Europe based athletes in this week’s 17th Africa Athletics Championship due at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi, Kenya.
The federation’s Secretary General Jack Ngabonziza confirmed the development saying that two foreign based athletes, Eric Sebahire and Gervais Hakizimana, who are based in Italy and France respectively, were ruled out of the team after the local federation failed to secure funds for their flights to Nairobi.
“We had included them on the travelling team hoping we could get air fare means to enable them travel and compete in the Africa Championship but things have not gone according to plan,” Ngabonziza said.
Travel arrangements for the local based team was done last Friday with hopes of departing for Nairobi today (monday) aboard RwandAir but this is looking very unlikely because, athletes, who are scattered in different locations of the country, were yet to receive communication by press time.
Worse still, the athletes have not received residential training due to financial constraints.
Majority of athletes, who compose the national team are based in Northern, Southern and Western Provinces and by last evening they had not gotten any communication about their travel plans.
The team will comprised of Joseph Nzirorera (1500m), Potien Ntawuyirushintege (800m) and 4*400m relay runners of Thimote Bagina, Moussa Bizimana, Hermas Muvunyi and Emmanuel Ntakirutimana and the sprinting trio of Emmanuel Havugimana (100m), Said Hamisi (200m) and Thimote Bagina (400m).
Claudette Mukasakindi (5000m), Jeanne d’Arc Uwamahoro (400m) and Sophie Kanakuze (100m & 200m) are among other women runners on the team.