The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Country Confirm Entry for IAAF Permit Meeting

RWANDA will be part of the regional countries that will take part in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Permit Meeting for Africa on February 16, 2013 in Kenya.

According to national athletics federation officials, the event which will also be used to select a team to represent the country at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgozcsc, Poland in March, is expected to attract athletes from at least 10 countries.

Rwanda Athletics Federation Executive Secretary Raymond Bananeza said yesterday, "It is part of the IAAF calendar and we will surely send a team."

Kenya Athletics chairman Isaiah Kiplagat said recently that they have signed an agreement with the country's biggest financial institution, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) to sponsor the event, which will see winners pocket U.S. dollars 2,500.

"This is the only permit meeting in Africa sanctioned by the IAAF and we need to attract at least five countries alongside the galaxy of Kenyan stars," Kiplagat told journalists in Nairobi on Tuesday.

"For the time being, we want to limit it to African countries, but we will also consider other athletes who make use of the Kenya training facilities to compete here."

Already Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti and Mozambique athletes have confirmed participation.

Kenya has launched her preparation to defend both the individual and team titles at the World cross country championships and will hold several events across the country to gauge the runners' preparedness.

Kenya won seven out of the eight gold medals on offer in Punta Umbria in 2011 and faces a hard task to defend it, with Ethiopia, USA and Eritrea set to offer the formidable opposition.

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