2014 Commonwealth Games team down to 35

THE NATIONAL Olympic Committee has trimmed the long list of the national team which will represent Rwanda at next year’s Commonwealth Games set to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Long distance athlete Robert Kajuga [L] is among athletes who are training in Kenya ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games due in Glasgow, Scotland. The New Times / Courtesy.
Long distance athlete Robert Kajuga [L] is among athletes who are training in Kenya ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games due in Glasgow, Scotland. The New Times / Courtesy.

THE NATIONAL Olympic Committee has trimmed the long list of the national team which will represent Rwanda at next year’s Commonwealth Games set to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

With exactly one year to the Games, Rwanda’s sporting federations have stepped up preparations with support from the local Olympic committee.

Speaking to Times Sport yesterday, Serge Mwambali, the Executive Director of the Rwanda National Olympic Committee said, “We have already stepped up preparations and several federations have been holding training camps to prepare for the Commonwealth Games,”

“We have athletes who are competing in IPC World athletics championships and World swimming championship while others are gearing up for the upcoming Francophonie Games. All these championships are designed to help prepare our athletes for next year’s games,”

“We also have some athletes training in Ngong, Kenya preparing for the World athletics championship to be held in Russia. These are the athletes whom the country will rely on for Commonwealth Games,”

“We feel we are in the right period of preparations and hope we will have the athletes ready for the mission in Glasgow by the end of the year,” added Mwambali.

He also stated that they had sent a tentative list of the Rwandan delegation which will compete in the games.

According to Mwambali, Rwandan delegation to Glasgow will be comprised of 35 athletes and officials, after 33 athletes and officials were  dropped.

Initially, the country had allocated slots for seven swimmers, 27 athletes, eight boxers, 15 cyclists, seven judo players, four weightlifters, adding up to a total of 41 males and 27 female athletes.

But the final team will now be made up of only two swimmers, one judo athlete, one weightlifter, 14 athletes, two boxers and one cyclist. They will be accompanied by 14 officials.

Rwanda made its debut at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, a year after being admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations.

The country was represented by a delegation of 22 athletes, competing in athletics, boxing, cycling, swimming, and tennis. The team did not win any medals.

Meanwhile, Kigali will host,  for the first time the Queen’s Baton relay on January 15, 2014, according to the organisers of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The baton will be arriving in the country from Kampala as it makes its way through the Commonwealth members.

It is expected to cover about 118,000 miles (190,000km) and will make history by becoming the first baton to visit Rwanda.

The baton will eventually return to Scotland, ahead of the opening ceremony of the Games on July 23, 2014.

Glasgow has affirmed its readiness to host the Commonwealth Games.

Over a period of 11 days, 17 Commonwealth sports disciplines ranging from athletics and gymnastics to lawn bowls and squash - will be contested at 13 venues around Glasgow and beyond.

The £113m Emirates Arena, which opened in October 2012,  opposite Celtic’s stadium in the city’s east end, will host badminton events, as well as the track cycling at the velodrome.

Next door to the new arena is the athletes’ village, which will accomodate up to 6,500 athletes and officials in 700 homes and some flats. It is well on the way to completion and should be ready by the start of next year according to reports.

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