The National Karate Team is confident that competing at home will give them added advantage of winning bouts and medals at the upcoming Africa Karate Championship in Kigali.
Rwanda will host the 17th edition of the continental championship for both Africa’s Senior Karate Championship and the 9th Junior Championship from August 31 to September 2 at Intare Arena in Rusororo, Gasabo District.
In an exclusive interview with Times Sport on Wednesday during a training session at La Palise Hotel Nyadungu, youngsters Halifa Niyitanga and Jovia Umunezero, who won medals during the African Youth Games in Algeria last, month said that, “As hosts, the home advantage will give us (Rwandans) the moral boost and confidence to perform better than we ever did.”
“This year is our time to shine on the continental arena, we hope to see many Rwandans coming through to support us – it will inspire us to do well,” Niyitanga stressed while Umunezero noted that “If I can win silver in Algeria, it is proof that I can even do better at home.”
During the African Youth Games in Algiers, Niyitanga won a bronze medal in the men’s Kumite 61kg category while his compatriot Umunezero scooped silver in the female 57kg category.
Meanwhile, national karate federation (FERWAKA) president Théogène Uwayo has revealed that so far 12 nations have confirmed their participation at the forthcoming continental championships.