19 September 2016

Rwanda: Muvunyi Disqualified in 400m Final at 2016 Rio Paralympics

Photo: New Times
Hermas Muvunyi.

It was a nightmare for Rwanda's Rio Paralympics medal hopeful Hermas Muvunyi whose dream ended in the most bizarre fashion after he was disqualified in the final of the Men's 400mT-46 race on Saturday night at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Former 800 meters world champion, Muvunyi had finished in fifth place clocking 49 seconds and nine micro seconds, only to be informed after the race that he stepped outside his lane in the middle of the competition, an offence punishable by disqualification.

The 27-year-old athlete was the only hope for Rwanda to win a medal having qualified in two competitions; 400m and 1500m T-46 during the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championship last October in Doha, Qatar.

Having failed to hit the target after only managing fifth place in the Men's 1500mT-46 final held on Friday night, Muvunyi had vowed to use his final chance in 400m to end Rwanda's Paralympics medal wait since 2004 when Jean de Dieu Nkundabere claimed bronze in the Men's 800m T-46.

Muvunyi, ran in lane eight adjacent to Ivory Coast's Jean Luc Kouame Noumbo, who was the other culprit penalized for a similar offense. The two were the only Africans in this category.

The race was won by Cuban Ernesto Blanco after crossing the finish line in 48:49 beating off challenge from Brazilian Petrucio Dos Santos Ferreira, who took a silver medal using 48:87 while Austrian defending champion Guther Martzinger settled for a bronze posting 48:95.

The 12-day world's biggest quadrennial sporting event of people with physical disabilities that started on September 7 concluded yesterday (Sunday) at Olympic stadium.

Rwanda was represented by Muvunyi and the national women sitting volleyball team that finished at the bottom of the eight teams that participated. Muvunyi declined to comment when contacted by Times Sport, only promising to comment when he returns home.

Men's 400mT46/47 final

1. Ernesto Blanco (CUB) 48:49

2. Petrucio Dos Santos Ferreira (BRA) 48:87

3. Gunther Matzinger (AUT) 48:95

4. Shane Hudson (JAM) 49:07

5. Samuel Colmenares (VEN) 49:55

6. Antonis Aresti (CYP) 50:07

7. Hermas Muvunyi (RWA) disqualified

8. Jean Luc Kouame Noumbo (CIV) disqualified

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