Beijing hopes shattered

It is official; Rwanda will not have boxing representation at the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games after failing at the second and final qualifiers.

Preliminary round
Welter weight (69kg)

J. Koen (S.A) def. J.C Gatorano (RWA) 17-2

Light weight (60kg)
J.D Solonianina (MAD) def. P. Sibomana (RWA) 8-2

Light Welter (64kg)
B. Abdelgawad (EGY) def. J.M Bikorimana (RWA) 21-4

Feather weight (57kg)
G. Batshegi (BOT) def. D. Nsabimana (RWA) R2

It is official; Rwanda will not have boxing representation at the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games after failing at the second and final qualifiers.

Rwanda’s four boxers could not get past the preliminary round at the ongoing African Olympic qualifiers which end tomorrow in Windhoek, Namibia.

According to results obtained from boxing world’s body AIBA, Rwanda’s boxers were all knocked out on the first day of the preliminary round on Tuesday.

The first to fall was Jean Claude Gatorano (Welterweight) who lost to South Africa’s Johhny Koen 17-2 on points.

Pascal Sibomana followed him in Lightweight category after going down to Jean de Dieu Solonianina of Madagascar 8-2. In the Light welter category, Jean Morris Bikorimana lost to Bdelrahman Abdelgawad of Egypt 21-4.

And the final nail in the Rwanda’s coffin was when the referee stopped the Featherweight contest which involved David Nsabimana against Ghato Batshegi of Botswana in the second round to stop the Swana fighter from administering further punishment on the  Rwandan debutant.

A total of 145 boxers from 28 countries entered the Windhoek tournament for what is effectively the last chance for African boxers wishing to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games.

With two African boxers having qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games at the AIBA World Championships Chicago 2007 and another 29 at the first AIBA African Olympic Qualification Tournament in Algeria, another 29 Olympic vacancies are up for grabs in Namibia.

Rwanda did not send a team for Africa’s first qualifier in Algiers thereby reducing their chances of clinching any of 60 slots allocated to Africa.

The latest failure means that Rwanda’s wait for Olympics boxing slot continues.
The boxers’ failure came just days after Rwanda received bad news that their cycling team will not be given a wildcard, which automatically ruled them out of the Games.
With the two disciplines now officially off the ladder for Rwanda’s team at the Games, hopes remain in athletics, swimming and Paralympics.

In Paralympics, Elmas Muvunyi (100m & 200m), Jean de Dieu Nkundabera (800m & 1500m) and Lysha Kwizera are the athletes likely to take part in the Manchester Paralympics international championship in June hoping to secure their places the next Paralympics in Beijing.

2004 Athens Paralympics bronze medalist, Nkundabera has already qualified for the Beijing Games in 800m during last year’s All Africa Games in Algeria but wants to secure a slot in the 1500m.

In the mainstream athletics, which is Rwanda’s main hope for a medal in Beijing has so far qualified two; Dieudonne Disi (10.000m) and Epiphanie Nyirabarame (women marathon).

However, more athletics still have a chance to beat that minimum required qualification time when the Africa Athletics Championship rolls off at the end of next month in Ethiopia.

You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    


Follow The New Times on Google News