RWANDA has fielded seven athletes in the Paralympics Great Lakes Open athletics championships which paced off yesterday at Nyayo stadium, Kenya.
As expected, 2004 bronze medalist Jean de Dieu Nkundabera will lead the country’s hunt for glory when he competes in the 800m and 1500m races.
Alphonsine Mukandayisenga and Olive Akobasingiza will run in 100m, Jean Claude Ndayisenga, Hermas Muvunyi and Akobasingiza will compete in 400m while the pair of Leopold Nsengimana and Theoneste Nsengimana will run in the 5000m category.
According to Rwanda’s delegation head, Elia Manirarora, the top performers will automatically qualify for the IPC World Championships slated for next January in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Manirarora also pointed out that it is important for local athletes to make the cut in Nairobi if they are to dream of featuring in the London 2012 Paralympics.
Being hosts, Kenya have fielded a mammoth 65 athletes. Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Namibia and Angola are some of the other countries in contention. 50 medals are up for grabs in four categories; wheelchair and amputees, visual disability, intellectual disability and cerebral palsy.