15 March 2017

Rwandan Trio Set for Qualifier Ahead of London Championships

Three Rwandan long-distance athletes will make their debut at the International Meeting of Djibouti, slated for March 25 at the Hassan Gouled stadium.

The three include two women Beatha Nishimwe and Honorine Iribagiza, and one man, Emmanuel Ntakiyimana.

The one-day track and field competition is an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) meeting that attracts hundreds of athletes from across the world and will act as a qualifying event for the 2017 IAAF World Championships to be held in London, Britain from August 4-13.

According to the national team coach Anicet Kanyabugoyi, the athletes are already in rigorous preparations for the second edition of the International Meeting of Djibouti.

The two women are training from Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali while Ntakiyimana is training in Kenya.

"Preparations are going on pretty well and the objective is to qualify the athletes for the world championships, since the start of this month we are training extensively on a daily basis with the two female athletes, and I'm also in touch with Emmanuel, who is in Kenya, he is also doing great," Kanyabugoyi told Times Sport on Tuesday

The competition will attract athletes in different categories and disciplines including 100-metre, 200-metre, and 400-metre race for juniors and semi-professionals. The professionals will be invited to compete in events ranging from 800 to 5,000 metres

According to Kanyabugoyi, 18-year old Iribagiza and 21-year old Ntakiyimana will compete in 800 metres while 19-year old Nishimwe will compete in the 1,500 metres.

Rwanda will be aiming to send athletes to the world championships through qualification unlike in 2015 when it fielded Felicien Muhitira through invitation.

"From what IAAF told us, there will be no more invitations for the world championships, all athletes will have to earn qualification and each athlete I have has the ability to qualify," he added

According to IAAF minima standards, to qualify for the biennial event in 800 metres in the men category, an athlete must clock one minute, 45 seconds and 90 micro seconds, while in the women category, they must cover the same distance in two minutes and one second only.

For the 1500m in the women category, a female athlete must not go beyond four minutes, seven seconds and 50 microseconds.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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