STEEPLECHASE specialist Gervais Hakizimana and long distance runner Claudette Mukasakindi (10,000m) have been dropped from Rwanda’s team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games after failing to show up for training.
The pair, according to the National Athletics Federation (RAF) Secretary General Jack Ngabonziza, has been left out after they failed to turn up for the residential training.
“All athletes who made the final team were required to turn up for residential training at Hilltop hotel but Mukasakindi and Hakizimana did not show up, leaving us no choice but to make a decision that would serve in the best interests of the country,” he said.
Ngabonziza added that this should serve as a lesson for athletes who fail to show up for training in future.
The pair will not be replaced, which means that the team is down to 20; 13 track and field athletes, five cyclists, one swimmer and one boxer.
Athletes hoping to make Rwanda’s presence felt on the track include Dieudonne Disi, Rashid Safari, Gervais Nizeyimana and two-time Olympian Epiphanie Nyirabarame in full marathon (42.125 km) and the trio of Jean Baptista Simuceka, Eric Sebahire and Sylvain Rukundo in 5000 m and 10,000 m races. Jean Claude Ndayisenga and Herman Muvunyi will compete in T46 races.
South Africa-based rider Adrien Niyonshuti will lead Rwanda’s surge for honours in cycling. Others riders in the team include four-time Tour of Rwanda champion Abraham Ruhumuriza, Nathan Byukusenge, Nicodem Habiyambere and Hategeka Gasore.
The cyclists will compete in the 167 km road race and 40 km individual time-trial race among others.
Matusi Haziza, who competed in last month’s Singapore Youth Games, will fly Rwanda’s flag in boxing while Alphonsine Agahozo hopes to do Rwanda proud when she competes in the 50 m freestyle.
The team departs this weekend for New Delhi, India, the venue for the Games. The Games are slated to run from October 3 to 14.