Bakunzi eyes podium finish at Youth Olympic Games

Middle distance runner Aimé Phraditte Bakunzi (centre) will represent the country in men’s 3000 metres category. Damas Sikubwabo.

Rwanda’s sole representative in athletics at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games, Aimé Phraditte Bakunzi has set an ambitious target for himself – to strike a medal in the competition.

Commonly known as Buenos Aires 2018, the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games are scheduled for October 6-18 in Argentina. It will be the first edition to be held outside of Asia after Singapore organised the inaugural edition while the second was hosted in Nanjing, China.


Bakunzi, 17, will be making his third appearance on international scene in Argentina following his maiden outing to Africa Schools Championships in Morocco in May and the African Youth Games held in Algeria in July from where he qualified for the Youth Olympics.


While speaking to Times Sport on Tuesday, Bakunzi said: “Since qualifying in July, I have been training. I feel fit and ready for the competition, my target is to win a medal in Argentina.”


“However, I am aware it is going to be a tough call against the world’s best.”

At the two-week long event, Rwanda will be represented by the national U18 women’s beach volleyball duo of Valentine Munezero and Penelope Musabyimana as well as runner Bakunzi in men’s 3,000 metres category.

In the ladies beach volleyball, Rwanda also secured the ticket to Youth Olympics from this year’s Africa Youth Games in Algeria after finishing second, behind champions Mozambique.

The Rwandan contingent left the country for Argentina last night, at 1am CAT. The delegation was officially flagged off at Amahoro Stadium yesterday, by Didier Guy Rurangayire, the Director of Sports at the Ministry of Sports and Culture.


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