Swimmer Agahozo falters

GABARONE – Rwanda’s two-time Olympian Alphonse Agahozo made a poor start at the Africa Youth Games as she finished a distant 13th in the girls’ 50m breaststroke yesterday at the University of Botswana swimming pool.
Belysee Irakoze, left and James Sugira, right, lead Team Rwanda at the opening ceremony held at the National Stadium of Botswana in Gaborone.  Bonnie Mugabe
Belysee Irakoze, left and James Sugira, right, lead Team Rwanda at the opening ceremony held at the National Stadium of Botswana in Gaborone. Bonnie Mugabe

Girls’ 50m breaststroke 

1. Schoemaker Tatjana (SA) 33:02 

2. Poo Cheong Elodie (Mau) 34:61 

3. Mashalu Mohamed (Egy) 35:24 

4. Haitham Farida (Egy) 35:51 

5. Ben Khehl Farah (Tun) 35:64 

13. Alphonse Agahozo (Rwa) 39:17

GABARONE – Rwanda’s two-time Olympian Alphonse Agahozo made a poor start at the Africa Youth Games as she finished a distant 13th in the girls’ 50m breaststroke yesterday at the University of Botswana swimming pool.

The 17-year-old finished with a time of 39:17, three seconds off the qualification time. She also failed to improve on her personal best time of 37 seconds.

The best eight swimmers into the final include’ South Africa’s Schoemaker Tatjana, who won the event in 33: 02; Poo Cheong Elodie from Mauritius (34:61), Egyptian Mashalu Mohamed (35:24).

Others, who qualified are; Egyptian Haitham Farida, Ben Khehl Farah from Tunisia, Nefsi Hamida from Algeria, Khiyara Iness from Morocco and Roth Toni from Namibia.

The other closest East African athlete was Tanzania’s Kassam Sabrina, who finished 22nd after clocking 43:64 seconds.  The swimming competition has attracted 151 athletes from 38 nations.

Agahozo will now shift focus on  today’s 50m freestyle set for 11am. On Sunday, she will compete in the 50m butterfly then 100m breaststroke on Monday before winding up with 400m freestyle on Tuesday.

Magnificent opening ceremony

Hosts Botswana staged a magnificent opening ceremony where 54 countries paraded their athletes and officials.

During the opening ceremony, Botswana President Ian Khama was awarded a medal by the Africa Olympic Committee for his service to sport.

Team Rwanda was the 25th  team to enter the stadium with James Sugira and Belyse Irakoze holding the Rwandan flag. Rwanda is fielding 40 athletes across 12 disciplines out of the 21 being contested at the Games.

This year’s competition has seen an increase in the number of participating countries, up from 40, while athletes have increased from 2,000 to 2,500. The competition ends on May 31.

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