9 November 2017

Rwanda: NPC-Rwanda to Decide Muvunyi's Fate Friday

Rwanda National Paralympic Committee (NPC-Rwanda) will take a decision on Hermas Muvunyi's apology on Friday, according to the body's president, Jean Baptiste Murema.

A year after his controversial retirement, Rwanda's most decorated paralympian penned an apology in which he asked NPC to give him another chance to live his dream.

In a press release last Sunday, Muvunyi apologised to NPC-Rwanda, his club (APR), Ministry of Sports and Culture as well as Rwandans in general.

"I took the decision due to my emotions but I have tried to think over it again and want to return to the game. I am ready to return and give my best to the country and club at the international level," Muvunyi says in the letter.

NPC-Rwanda president, Murema confirmed to Times Sport that they indeed received Muvunyi's apology letter and that the executive committee will sit on Friday to decide his fate.

"The executive committee will sit on Friday together with Muvunyi to hear his side after which a decision will be taken either to forgive him and have him back immediately or set him certain conditions first," said Murema.

Muvunyi announced his retirement in September last year after a glittering nine-year career.

The 29-year-old had made it clear that he would hang up his running boots after competing at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games where he was hoping to get a medal, but unfortunately failed as he faltered in the 1500m and was disqualified in the 400m final.

He later softened his stance to return to competing but on condition that, "there are fundamental changes to inspire Paralympic athletes in the country."

"I want to tell everyone that I have not retired because of age or that maybe I had reached my peak but for circumstances beyond my control, that deny us the opportunity to reach our full potential," he told Times Sport in an exclusive interview last year.

He noted that, "We go through so many challenges as professional athletes which at times requires third party assistance, so when that is not done you rather step aside other than sticking around without knowing what will happen the next day."

His interview did not go down well with NPC-Rwanda officials, who insisted that Muvunyi could only be allowed back in the sport after rescinding what they believed was harsh criticism of the federation.

Muvunyi's career

Muvunyi was introduced to Paralympic competitions in 2011, making his debut at the 2011 All-Africa Games in Maputo where he won gold in the 400 metres and silver in 800m, which qualified him for the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

He then became the first Rwandan world champion after winning gold in the 800m T-46 at the International Paralympic Committee-Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France in 2013 before winning the 400m gold at the All Africa Games in Congo-Brazzaville in 2015.

The Kamonyi-born athlete added two more gold medals to his CV winning both the 400 and 800 metres at the 9th IPC Grand Prix de Tunis in March 2016. His last gold medal came in the 1500-metre T-46 during the Berlin Open Grand Prix July in Germany.


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