THE team that will represent Rwanda at the IAAF World Athletics Championship, last night headed to Moscow, Russia amid high expectations.
The team, which is made up of 10000m champion Robert Kajuga and full marathon runner Jean Pierre Mvuyekure, left for the event planned for August 10-18.
The team, under the tutelage of Coach Eric Karasira, will be seeking to write a new chapter in the championship which has remained elusive for Rwandan athletes.
The Director of Sports in the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Emmanuel Bugingo , handed over the national flag to the team heading to the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships yesterday at Amahoro stadium, urging them to go for medals.
“We are confident that you have the potential to represent the nation well. The challenge might not be easy but with the preparations that you have had, I believe you can stage good performances,” added Bugingo, urging them to maintain discipline as they represent Rwanda at the biennial event.
Head coach Karasira, who helped Paralympian Hermas Cliff Muvunyi win a gold medal in last month’s IPC World athletics Championship, is optimistic Team Rwanda will put up a good show.
“The athletes have had good preparations and I must say that they are focused. The representation we need should be about setting new records and if possible winning medals,” added Karasira. The duo of Kajuga and Mvuyekure heads to Russia after a three-week long training camp in Ngong, Kenya.
The pair, who made their international debut at last year’s Summer Olympics in London, will be making their maiden appearance at the championships.
After a couple of weeks training alongside Kenya’s elite athletes, the pair feel they are ready to make their mark at the world championships but their only worry is the unfamiliar weather conditions.
“Besides weather conditions in Moscow which we are not used to, I feel I have no other worry that might hinder my good performances. I am ready for Moscow challenge,” said Kajuga.
Rwanda has never won any medal in the history of the IAAF World Athletics Championships.
Two years ago, Rwanda took part in the World Championships in Athletics with Slyvain Rukundo and Epiphanie Nyirabarame representing the country.
Rukundo was eliminated in the 5000m heat stage after posting 13:58.92 to finish a distant 28th position while Nyirabarame never finished the women marathon race.