Taekwondo: Niringiyimana eyes Paralympics ticket

Jean Claude Niringiyimana (red armour) struck a gold medal at the 2017 African Para Taekwondo Championships. /File photo.

Rwanda’s Para Taekwondo star Jean Claude Niringiyimana has said that he will be targeting gold medal when he represents the country at the upcoming qualifiers – in Morocco – for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The qualifiers event is scheduled for February 22-24.

Sensational Niringiyimana, who considers taekwondo as a life-changing art, competes in the men’s under-61kg – K44 category.

In an interview on Tuesday, Niringiyimana told Times Sport that his ultimate goal in Morocco is to qualify for this year’s Paralympic Games, which are due August 25 to September 6 in the Japanese capital.

“I have had good preparations, I feel ready and am in good form to fight for my country’s pride in Morocco. The ultimate goal is to qualify for the Paralympics, so I have to aim for gold,” he said.

In 2018, Niringiyimana was ranked number 13 in world rankings and top on the continent.

The previous year, Niringiyimana was voted as the Allianz Athlete of the Month for April after his stellar performance at the 2017 African Para Taekwondo Championship in Kigali where he claimed gold in his debut attempt on continental stage.

Besides Niringiyimana, Rwanda will also be represented by Jean Paul Sekanyambo (-58Kg) and Aline Ndacyayisenga (-57Kg) in Olympic qualifiers.  

The trio, along with their coach Allan Irene Bagire, flew out to Morocco Tuesday evening aboard a Qatar Airways flight.


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