Rwanda’s bid to host the 2013 African Junior Athletics championship will be on top of the agenda during the African Athletics Confederation assembly in Benin, this weekend, ahead of the African Athletics Championships.
The National Athletics Federation’s Jean Damascène Nkezabo disclosed that Rwanda is currently the only country that has shown interest in staging the event.
Nkezabo and the Director of Sports Federations in the Ministry of Sports, Emmanuel Bugingo, will attend the convention to defend Rwanda’s bid.
According to the Secretary General of the Athletics Federations Johnson Rukundo, the country has the capacity to host the event.
“We meet the minimum requirements necessary to host such a continental event and there is confidence that the bid will be successful”
“First and foremost, we have the financial backing from government; hotels, stadia, security and communication are up to standard”
“We are working on other technical things like getting training areas and a few other things.”Rukundo said.
If the bid is approved, it will be the first time Rwanda has hosted a continental Athletics competition and it would mark a big milestone in the chaotic Athletics federation which has been a beehive of embezzlement of funds, wrangling and poor leadership for the last few years.
Rwanda’s ability to host big sporting competitions is in no doubt after successfully hosting the 2009 U-20 and 2011 U-17 African junior soccer championships, Afro-Basketball championships, cycling events and other tournaments in Volleyball and Handball.
Meanwhile a contingent of six athletes leaves on Monday for Porto-Nova, Benin to represent Rwanda at African Athletics Championship.
Robert Kajuga and Claudette Mukasakindi will compete in the 10,000m, while Cyriaque Ndayikengurukiye and Emmanuel Ntakiyimana will run in the 5000m and 400m races, respectively.
For the first time, the country will send a participant in the long jump.
Top athletes including Kajuga, Mukasakindi and Ndayikengurukiye will be hoping to get the required minimum qualification times to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics Games.
Benin has already received the final entries of 48 countries and 1038 athletes to take part at the African Athletics Championships which will be held in Porto Novo in less than 2 weeks. It represents a record for this continental event.