Rwanda’s Sports Achievers

1. Jean de Dieu Nkundabera is an athlete. Nkundabera represented Rwanda at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and won the Country’s first ever Paralympic or Olympic medal. He won Bronze in the T46 men’s 800 meter race, with a time of 1:58.95.
L-R: Jean de Dieu ; Dieudonné Disi; Adrien Niyonshuti; Grace Nyinawumuntu
L-R: Jean de Dieu ; Dieudonné Disi; Adrien Niyonshuti; Grace Nyinawumuntu

1. Jean de Dieu Nkundabera is an athlete.
Nkundabera represented Rwanda at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and won the Country’s first ever Paralympic or Olympic medal. He won Bronze in the T46 men’s 800 meter race, with a time of 1:58.95.

2. Dieudonné Disi is a world-class half-marathoner with a personal best of 59 minutes. Disi grew up in war-torn Rwanda and at age 14 witnessed the killing of his entire family. Yet he still went on to compete in the Olympics in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing and he is preparing for to even compete in next year’s London Olympics.

In his career, Disi has won gold medals in different world athletics championships including world military cross country championship, world half marathons and world athletics championships held on an annual basis.

3. Adrien Niyonshuti is the first Rwandan cyclist to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Born in Eastern Province of Rwanda on January 2, 1987, he is a professional bicycle racer for South African UCI Continental team MTN Energade. Niyonshuti began riding a bicycle given to him by his uncle as a teenager. He began amateur cycling at the age of 16.

In 2003, he came to the attention of a former professional cyclist, Jonathan Boyer. The first American cyclist to compete in the Tour de France, Boyer was working in Rwanda on a project to import cargo bicycles.

Boyer also assumed the role of coach for the Rwandan national cycling team, and recruited Niyonshuti to race.
In the 2009 Tour of Ireland, Niyonshuti became the first Rwandan cyclist to ride in the European professional peloton.

4. Grace Nyinawumuntu (AS Kigali Coach)
In 2001 when women football was officially launched by the local football federation (Ferwafa), Nyinawumuntu was among the pioneer Women players. She played for ‘Ikipe y’Umujyi wa Kigali’ but later got a knee injury which meant that she had to quit playing. However as an advocate for women football in Rwanda, she opted for coaching.
She is currently the head coach of premier women’s league side AS Kigali. She is also the head coach of the national women team.


 

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