MARATHON RUNNER Dieudonné Disi departed for Glasgow yesterday in a buoyant mood ready to win Rwanda’s first medal at the Commonwealth Games, which started on Wednesday in Glasgow, Scotland.
Speaking to Times Sport yesterday, Disi who will compete on Sunday in the men’s 42km race said, “I am well prepared and ready to win a medal. I am so determined and I believe I will make my country proud.”
“Kenya has changed their marathon team. They have included three best time record athletes but the advantage I have, they will all be under pressure to deliver so I can benefit from this situation,” he noted.
Disi will face stiff competition from defending champion Kenya’s John Kelai.
Kelai will partner with 2009 Baringo Half marathon winner Eric Ndiema and 2014 Seoul Marathon runners up Stephen Chemlany at the Games.
Kelai is the most experienced of the trio having won numerous races abroad including Singapore Marathon (2003), Brussels Marathon (2004), Enschede Marathon (2005, 2010), Mumbai Marathon (2007, 2008) and the Toronto Waterfront Marathon (2007).
Disi departed alongside another marathon runner Jean Pierre Mvuyekure, Eric Sebahire (10,000m), Pontien Ntawiyirushintege (10,000m), Cyriaque Ndayikengurukiye (10,000m), Felicien Muhitira (10,000m), Claudette Mukasakindi (10, 000m) and Clementine Mukandanga (10,000m).
The first batch comprised of Emmanuel Ntakiyimana (800m) and Timothée Bagina (800m), boxers Jean Maurice Bikorimana and Olivier Nshingiro, swimmer Patrick Rukundo and Théogène Hakizimana in power lifting have been in Glasgow for two weeks and took part in Wednesday’s official opening ceremony at Celtic Park, home of Celtic football club.
Hakizimana was Rwanda’s flag bearer at the 20th Commonwealth Games which will feature 17 sports across 11 days of the competition with more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations competing.
The last batch including lead cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti and Gasore Gategeka depart for Glasgow on Sunday.
They will link up with the rest of the team including Hadi Janvier, who is in the US, Valens Ndayisenga and Jean Bosco Nsengimana, who are in Swiss and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, who is holding his preparations in France.
Rwanda joined the Commonwealth in 2009 and competed in its first Commonwealth Games a year later in Delhi.