BEIJING - Rwanda’s Olympic medal hopeful Dieudonne Disi arrived in the Olympic village last evening for the Beijing Games, which opened over the weekend here in Beijing, China.
The 10.000m star arrived at Beijing international airport yesterday early in the morning at 5am (11pm Rwandan time) aboard SN Brussels and was welcomed by RNOC Chef de mission Thierry Ntwali.
Disi, who is among the East African long distance runners arrived here, six days before his scheduled competition date, which is this Sunday at the National stadium in Beijing.
Other athletes in his category who have arrived in the Olympic village include Uganda’s Boniface Kiprop who finished fourth in the 2004 Athens Games and Kenyan and 10 Miles World Junior Record holder Martin Mathathi.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia is the only country from this region that has not arrived in Beijing but they are expected before the end of the week.
Athens gold medallist Kenenisa Bekele, silver medallist Sileshi Sihine, current world junior 10,000m champion Ibrahim Jeylan and 1996 USA as well as Sydney 10.00m gold medallist Haile Gebrselassie are among the big names everyone is looking forward to seeing.
Disi, who has been training in the mountainous areas of Southern France since early late June, is confident about his chances of capturing that elusive Olympic medal for Rwanda.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza and RNOC president Ignace Beraho as well as Secretary General Freddy Somayire paid a visit to the athletes in the Olympic village yesterday.
The visit was aimed at giving morale to the athletes ahead of the huge challenge ahead. Rwandan participants start their campaign on Thursday with swimmer Pamela Girinbabazi and Jackson Niyomugabo (both 50m free-style) first in action.