RWANDA’S team to the World Cross Championship set for this Sunday in Punta Umbria, Spain is in fine shape to win some medals, says Head Coach Eric Karasira.
Karasira, who is training the team in Kigali, said yesterday, “The team is in upbeat mood, they are strong and have had enough time to train and I’m hoping for a good performance.”
“The athletes are hungry for success even despite the fact they are to compete against the best in the world, mostly Kenyans and Ethiopians,” added Karasira.
The team is composed of Europe-based quartet of Eric Sebahire, Gervais Hakizimana, Claudette Mukasakindi, Angelline Nyiransabimana, Slyvain Rukundo, Felix Ntirenganya, Jean Baptista Simuceka, two-time Olympian Epiphanie Nyirabarame and Jacqueline Murekatete, who will compete in the juniors.
Among athletes who are in Kigali, Hakizimana has not entered residential training at Hill Top hotel due to family reasons which forced him to cut his European camp short to return back to Kigali a week ago.
However, Karasira expect one of his most experienced runners to join camp in time for the trip to Spain.
The Rwandan delegation is expected to fly out tomorrow to Punta Umbria for acclimatization ahead of Sunday’s race. Rwanda last had representatives in the annual global cross country championship two years ago.
Meanwhile, a sum of $280,000 in prize money will be paid by the IAAF for the two senior races at the 39th edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
A $30,000 prize is available for each individual winner of the men’s and women’s senior races with money filtering down to 6th position where the reward is $3000 per athlete. In total $140,000 is on offer as individual prizes.
In terms of the team contest in both senior events, there is another prize pool of $140,000. This is distributed with $20,000 going to the first team home in each race, descending to 6th place where the pay out by the IAAF is $4000.