Though they gained medals eventually weekend’s athletics competitors in Lusaka Zambia, Rwandan athletes Honorine Iribagiza and Martha Yankurije (ladies) and Yves Nimubona (males) nonetheless have a mountain to climb to safe qualification to symbolize Rwanda on the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games.
Each Nimubona and Yankurije, who run for APR Athletics Membership, on Sunday, Could 16, gained gold medals within the 10.000m and 5 000m respectively through the just-concluded All-Comers Meet observe and Subject Competitors held in Lusaka, Zambia.
Their victory got here a day after their compatriot and Sina Gerard Athletics feminine runner Iribagiza gained silver after clocking 2:10.57 within the 800 m race class, 4 seconds behind Zambian Felistus Mpande who gained the race to win gold on her dwelling soil.
Nonetheless, their efficiency was not as spectacular as focused, based on Fidele Mubiligi, the president of Rwanda Athletics, as a result of not one of the trio managed to hit the instances required to qualify for the Olympic Video games.
Whereas he hoped the Lusaka competitors is the final probability for the Rwandan representatives to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Video games, Mubiligi informed Instances Sport that this yr’s version in Lusaka wasn’t as aggressive because it used to and that affected Rwandan athletes’ performances consequently regardless of profitable medals.
“Our athletes lacked severe opponents who would give them a problem within the race as a result of, with the problem, I’m certain they might have performed higher and secured qualification to Tokyo. However their opponents’ performances had been beneath par and that affected our athletes,” Mubiligi stated in an interview.
Zambia is among the international locations with finest performing athletes within the dash classes, particularly within the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800 m races and that makes the nation put extra deal with the classes than center and long-distance races.
Related classes dominate the nation’s athletics tournaments from which quite a few worldwide athletes win tickets for the Olympic Video games.
Nonetheless, the nation’s athletes should not good at center and long-distance races and it was the primary time the Zambian Athletics Federation included long-distance classes within the All-Comers Meet observe and Subject Competitors.
Previous to the competitors, Rwandan representatives had been removed from motivated by the situations through which they had been going via as a consequence of discouraging circumstances.
There was a excessive risk that Rwandans had been going to overlook out on the 5 000m and 10 000m, regardless of having laded in Lusaka already, as a result of the variety of athletes who registered for the competitors within the two classes was too small.
The one potential choice for Nimubona and Yankurije was to compete no less than within the 3 000m class.
Nonetheless, they had been allowed to compete of their respective classes on the final minute after RAF’s late intervention.
In the meantime, Instances Sport earlier reported that Iribagiza was anticipated to run within the 1 500m class however, surprisingly, she discovered herself with no choice aside from competing within the 800m class.
Issues went from unhealthy to worse when the middle-distance runner, regardless of profitable a silver medal, joined the remainder of the runners for the race simply minutes after touchdown in Lusaka on Saturday. She did not get a single second to relaxation as a consequence of the truth that her flight was delayed from Wednesday, Could 12, to Friday, Could 14 after she was denied touring with out having a PCR covid-19 check.
Her crew thought a Fast Check for the pandemic was sufficient for her to be cleared to journey.
There may be nonetheless an opportunity
The Lusaka Marathon was believed to be the final probability for Rwanda athletes to qualify for the Tokyo 2020. Nonetheless, Mubiligi confirmed that there’s nonetheless an opportunity to qualify because the Athletics federation (RAF) remains to be searching for different competitions for athletes but to safe qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Video games.
“We’re searching for different qualifying competitions and we hope they will nonetheless qualify. There may be nonetheless an opportunity to go to Tokyo,” he stated.
The Tokyo 2020 Video games are scheduled to start on July 23 and conclude on August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
The occasion was initially as a consequence of happen from 24 July to 9 August 2020, but it surely was postponed in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and won’t permit worldwide spectators.