Hakizimana shifts base to Morocco

RWANDA’S 3000m steeplechase champion Gervais Hakizimana has shifted his training base from France to Morocco ahead of the London Olympic Games qualifiers.
Rwanda's 3000m steeplechase champion Gervais Hakizimana. The New Times / File.
Rwanda's 3000m steeplechase champion Gervais Hakizimana. The New Times / File.

RWANDA’S 3000m steeplechase champion Gervais Hakizimana has shifted his training base from France to Morocco ahead of the London Olympic Games qualifiers.

Speaking to Times Sport from Casablanca, the athlete said: “The reason I have left France is because Morocco has ideal terrains for training.”

Hakizimana, who also holds the national 5000m record, will also compete in 5000m and 10,000m qualifying races.

He starts his quest next month with the 3000m in-door meeting in Lille followed by 10,000m races in Metz and Nancy in March.

In April, the 25-year-old athlete will compete in the 3000m steeplechase meeting in de Pezenas, France.

Last year, Hakizimana fell short of the minimum qualification time in the Pézenas national meet.

Despite clocking 8 minutes, 39 seconds and five micro-seconds to claim silver, he was still six seconds and five micro-seconds above the minimum qualification time of eight minutes and 33 seconds (8:33:00).

France’s Amgul Lahcen won the race (8:38:03) while his compatriot Pepiot Valentin settled for bronze after returning 8:39:24.

Till date, the only Rwandan athlete assured of a ticket to London is Adrien Niyonshuti. The two-time Tour of Rwanda champion qualified for the Games after finishing fourth at the 2011 African Continental Championships in Stellenbosch.

bonnie.mugabe@newtimes.co.rw

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