The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Disi Eyes London Games Qualification

RWANDA's most successful long distance athlete Dieudonne Disi has returned to the track in search for a slot to compete in the full marathon at this year's London's Olympic Games.

The 32-year old athlete, who has spent two years without competitive action, is expected to compete in a series of European races next month in a bid to compete for the last time in the Olympic Games.

Disi last participated in an international competition in 2010 during the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

He bowed out of the marathon race after running 21km and spent the whole of last year engaged in administration with the local athletics federation before he and his colleagues were kicked out of office late August for mismanagement.

He, however, had a successful stint in 2009 where he dominated the spotlight with a series of top notch displays in Europe and Asia.

The two-time Olympian pulled out of the World Cross Country Championship in Amman, Jordan, to concentrate on the 33rd Paris Marathon, where he finished 18th.

Meanwhile, Rwanda's contingent to the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympics games will use Rwf214m which includes preparations, pre-game camps, allowances and upkeep for the 42-man delegation.

So far, only two athletes; Jean Pierre Mvuyekure (athletics) and Adrien Niyonshuti (cycling) have qualified for the Olympics, while the Paralympics bound athletes include the national sitting volleyball team, power lifting and athletics.

The country is also depending on wildcards in swimming, boxing, taekondo and athletics (women) for the Games, with selected athletes in these respective categories already in training.

According to Serge Mwambali, the chef de Mission for the Rwandan delegation, the preparations for the Games are in high gear and they have been made easier by the "Sports Ministry's timely facilitation."

"The Sports Ministry will give Rwf190m of the total budget and they have so far committed Rwf73m for preparations of the different athletes that will take part in the Olympics and Paralympic Games. The Olympic committee will top up with Rwf24m," Mwambali told Times Sport in an interview.

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