The national taekwondo team head coach, Irené Bagire, has tipped Rwandan athletes to shine at the upcoming World Taekwondo Championship.
The 2019 edition of the world’s biggest taekwondo meet takes place on May 15-19 in Manchester, England.
Led by skipper Benon Kayitare (-54kgs), Rwanda will be represented by three fighters; with the other two including Jean Paul Sekanyambo (-58kg) and Vincent Munyakazi in -68kg category.
The trio will be on a tough mission to win ‘at least one medal’ in what would be a historic performance after no Rwandan has ever managed a podium finish in the annual event since making their debut in 2013 in Mexico.
“It is going to be tough, but the boys are ready and determined to shine,” said Bagire during an exclusive interview with Times Sport on Tuesday.
The trainer, who will accompany the team, also revealed that they will be departing Kigali Saturday so they can further their final preps in the United Kingdom prior to the competitions.
The team has been training daily at Amahoro Stadium for the last two months and Bagire is confident about his players’ prospects.
“We have confidence in the talent and abilities of our players. No doubt we will be well represented in Manchester. For whatever the results; one thing is certain, we are going to give it our ‘very best’ to win medals.”
Placide Bagabo, the former national team captain and now president of the local taekwondo body, and Zura Mushambokazi were the first Rwandans to feature at the world championships, and both were eliminated from the first round.
It is expected that 1000 athletes, from over 150 countries, will be contesting for medals in various weight categories. It is also the UK’s first time to host the prestigious showpiece.