Beach volleyball team gears up for Youth Olympic Games

Valentine Munezero (left) and Penelope Musabyimana pose after winning bronze medals at the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games in Nassau, Bahamas. File photo.

The National U18 Women’s Beach Volleyball Team is set for four days of intensive preparations in residential camp ahead of the upcoming 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Rwanda and African champions Mozambique are the two teams that will represent the continent in ladies beach volleyball at the two-week long Youth Olympics – set for October 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The youthful duo of Valentine Munezero and Penelope Musabyimana will report to camp at Centre Christus in Remera on Saturday, and immediately start twice-a-day training at Amahoro Stadium under the tutelage of Christophe Mudahinyuka.

The development was confirmed to Times Sport on Wednesday by the Head of Commonwealth Programmes at Rwanda Olympic and National Sports Committee, Jean Jacques Mugisha, who will also serve as the head of Rwandan delegation at the event.

“The two ladies will start training on Saturday under coach Christophe (Mudahinyuka), at Amahoro Stadium. They are starting late because of busy school schedules but we have confidence in their talent and ability to get in shape quickly,” said Mugisha.

Rwanda qualified for the Youth Olympics after finishing second at this year’s African Youth Games in July, staged in Algeria. They lost to Mozambique in the final to grab silver medals.

“They are both Senior Six finalists, and had classes to finish and national exams to get ready for. We hope the two weeks in Argentina won’t affect their performance,” Mugisha further noted.

Besides the two ladies in women’s beach volleyball, the country will have one more representative at the Buenos Aires 2018 Games – runner Aimé Phraditte Bakunzi, who will be competing in men’s 3000 metres category.

He will be under the guidance of tactician Eric Karasira.

2018 – Rwanda’s smallest contingent at youth olympics

At this year’s edition of the world’s biggest youth sports event in Argentina, Rwanda will only have three athletes, down from eleven players, in four different disciplines, that represented the country at the 2014 Games in Nanjing, China.

During the inaugural edition of the quadrennial competitions in 2010, held in Singapore, Rwanda was represented by four athletes competing in athletics, boxing and swimming.

The three representatives will be in the South American country battling for Rwanda’s first medal in Youth Olympics.

The multi-discipline competitions are expected to be contested by around 4000 athletes from 206 countries, vying for medals in 241 events and 32 different sports.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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