Rwanda’s nine athletes take to the centre stage today in their last bid to secure the required minimum qualification times.
The athletes currently taking part in the 16th edition of the African athletics championship in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia include 200m sprinter Sophie Kanakuze who gets into action at 7.30 am local time.
Islam Mulinda who failed to clinch the minimum B qualification in 100m on the opening day is set to redeem himself in the 200m at 9.am.
The national 800m female champion Jean d’Arc Uwamahoro will have to be at her best in order to clinch a minimum B qualification time of 2:01.30 but she has her work cut out as she face favourites from Kenya and Uganda.
After Uwamahoro, it will be Godfrey Rutayisire’s chance to qualify in the 1500m.
In the relay’s event Rwanda’s hope will be resting with Etienne Gashagaza, Musa Bizimana, Innocent Hakuzimana and Emmanuel Ntakiyimana.
The best hope for qualification is in the women’s 10000m where Claudette Mukasakindi will be facing defending champion Meseret Defar.
On a sad note Rwanda’s duo of Angelline Nyiransabimana (5000m) and Joseph Nzirorera (800m) hopes of qualifying for the world event faded yesterday.
Nzirorera failed in the semifinal stage to record the required time of 1:47.00 when he ran 800m in 1.52.31.
Nyiransabimana who is the lone female athlete benefiting from the International Olympic Solidarity sponsorship finished seventh behind Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu who delivered the biggest surprise African Athletics Championships so far by defeating Olympic, world, Africa, and defending African 5000m champion Meseret Defar in the final of the women’s 5000m.
Defar won silver as Kenya’s Grace Momanyi settled for bronze respectively.
Nyiransabimana who was closer to the minimum B qualification standard time of 15:24.00 clocked 16:43.23.