After the draws made Thursday night, Rwanda’s flag bearers at the 18th African Seniors Karate Championships and 10th African Juniors Karate Championships in Gaborone, Botswana, go into the first round with hope to advance.
Khalifa Niyitanga, 19, was paired against Zambia’s Yamboto Kelvin Siambongo in the -67kg individual kumite category.
Maic Shyaka Ndutiye, 18, will meet the winner between Chad’s Toudja Kesse Iye and South Africa’s Sedan Shukry Bin Igsaan, in the in the -60kg category.
Games in both the -60kg individual kumite and the -67kg individual kumite categories start Saturday.
After seeing the pairing results, Rwanda Karate Federation president, Théogene Uwayo, said: “We stand good chances to win the first matches with each of the boys. For the following matches it is more difficult to comment at this time.”
The competition runs from July 9 through 15 at the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Centre.
The 2018 edition of the African Karate Championships was held in Kigali at Intare Arena.
Last year, Rwanda’s triumph – eight medals including its first gold won by Ndutiye – at the 17th African Seniors Karate Championships and the 9th African Juniors Karate Championships established the country as a Karate powerhouse, in the making, on the continent.
The World Karate Federation (WKF) statistics at the end of the event ranked Rwanda sixth on the continent for its gold, two silver and five bronze medals.