Adrien Niyonshuti picked to lead team
THE first batch of Rwanda’s contingent leaves this morning to Maputo, Mozambique for this year’s edition of the All Africa Games scheduled to run from September 3-18.
The men’s volleyball will be the first leave aboard Ethiopian Airways, Rwanda Olympic Committee president Dr. Charles Rudakubana has confirmed.
The volleyball competition will attract ten teams and regular threat Egypt been replaced with Kenya. Egypt pulled out of the continental championship to concentrate on World Cup qualifiers, Olympic qualifiers as well as the World league series.
“Our main objective at the games is not only to put on a good show but also to win as many medals as we possibly can. The government has done its part in preparing athletes and the challenge is on them now to perform,” noted Rudakubana.
The remaining batches; women basketball on August 31, tennis, boxing, cycling and karate on September 1, men’s basketball and swimming on September 4, sport for disabled and athletics leave on September 7 while beach volleyball team leaves on September 10 respectively.
The government will spend over Rwf358m covering the team expenses ranging from preparations, participation costs and allowances.
The local Olympic committee also received sponsorships from Anoca and international Olympic solidarity worth $37000 to prepare their athletes.
Meanwhile, Adrien Niyonshuti, the only Rwandan athlete to have booked a ticket to next year’s London Olympic Games, has been picked to lead the team in Maputo.
Niyonshuti, whose talent was first spotted at the Wooden Bike Classic six years ago, qualified for the Olympic Games following a fourth spot finish at the African Continental Championships in Stellenbosch in February this year.
Rwanda last won a medal in the 1987 Games which were held in Kenya when Maricienne Mukamurenzi won a silver medal in the 10.000m race.
In the last edition held in Algiers in 2007, Dieudonne Disi came closest to winning a medal when he finished fourth in the half marathon.