BY HAMZA NKUUTU
& TIMOTHY MUVUNYI
The local organizing committee has released the final list of athletes expected to represent Rwanda at the All Africa Games scheduled for July 11-23 in Algiers, Algeria.
The list comprises 27 names of athletes from the four disciplines that have so far been confirmed in which Rwanda would be represented.
The confirmed disciplines are tennis, athletics for the disabled, cycling and mainstream athletics; however, boxing and goalball [another one for the disabled] still have a chance for a last minute inclusion.
The two disciplines [boxing and goalball] had not been selected by the Youth, Culture and Sports ministry to be part of Team Rwanda.
But after receiving invitations from the Games’ organizers, their case is being studied and should get a response anytime soon, the chairman of the Team Rwandan organizing committee has confirmed.
Freddy Somayire who is also the Secretary General of the Rwanda National Olympics Committee said the decision on whether the boxing and goalball should be included on Team Rwanda lies in the hands of the Sports ministry.
“Recently we [Team Rwanda organizing committee] had a meeting and among the issue we discussed was that of the two disciplines that had not been selected but received invitations to take part in the Games,” Somayire said in a brief telephone interview yesterday.
He noted that, “These games [All Africa Games] are directly under the government, therefore, it’s the Sports ministry that determines which sport should represent the country.”
“Because of that, we [Team Rwanda organizing committee] tasked the director of sports in the Sports ministry who is also the vice chairman of the committee to study the two invitations and give us a response when we next meet,” he stressed.
Gaspard Kaijuka has maintained that boxing have no chance to go for the Games [despite the invitation] because they missed the Zonal qualifiers in Cairo in April and had a poor show at the Africa Championship last month in Madagascar. He, however, seems to have a soft stance towards goalball.
The 27-man list includes 13 mainstream athletes, six cyclists, three tennis players and five disabled athletes.
Main stream athletes: Epiphanie Nyirabarame, Angeline Nyiransabimana,Clementine Nyiraguhirwa, Lamberte Nyabamikazi, Epiphanie Uwintije, Jeane d’Arc Uwamahoro, Dieudonne Disi, Sylvain Rukundo,Rachid Safari, Gervais Hakizimana, Geoffrey Rutayisire, Moussa Bizimana, and Islam Mulinda.
Cyclists: Adrien Niyonshuti, Obed Ruvogera, Jean de Dieu Rafiki Uwimana, Nathan Byukusenge, Nyandwi Uwase, and Abraham Ruhumuriza.
Tennis: Eric Hagenimana, Jean- Claude Gasigwa, and Aude Wanden Bussches Mwali.
Athletics for the disabled: Jean de Dieu Nkundabera, Jean Claude Ndayisenga, Hermans Muvunyi, Olive Akobasenga, and Theoneste Nsengimana.
The officials: Ignace Beraho [NOC president], Gaspard Kaijuka [director of sports in Mijespoc], Freddy Somayire [chairman of Team Rwanda organizing committee], Adolph Rukenkanya [Chef de Mission], Thierry Ntwali [ass. Chef de Mission], Charles Kamanda, Apollinaire Munyangoga, Dominique Bizimana and Jean- Pierre Iyamuremye [all representing federations.