Muvunyi begins training ahead of World Para Athletics Champs

Hermas Cliff Muvunyi, 30, represented the country at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil. File.

Hermas Cliff Muvunyi has started early preparations as he steps up his ambition for a podium finish at this year’s World Para Athletics Champions, scheduled for November 7-15 in Dubai.

Muvunyi, 30, who struck gold at the 2013 Jeux de la Francophonie, qualified for the world championships in April after finishing third in men’s 400m T46 category at the 2019 Meeting International de Marrakech, in Morocco.

Speaking to Times Sport on Tuesday, Muvunyi revealed that his ultimate target in Dubai is to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, and that is the underlying reason why he started training early.

“I want to qualify for the Paralympics again, that’s why I started preps very early,” he said.

“I am sure if I win a medal, it will earn me automatic qualification. So I am targeting a podium finish in Dubai.”

Prior to the 2016 Rio Paralympics, the middle distance sensation had hinted that he would hang up his running boots as he was hoping to get a medal but he quickly overturned his decision after he faltered in the 1500m before being disqualified in the 400m final.

The Dubai World Championships will not only be the pinnacle of the 2019 Para athletics season but will also serve as the last major opportunity for athletes to book slots to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

More than 1,300 athletes from over 100 countries are expected to take part in the competition. Muvunyi will be the only Rwandan.