Niyonshuti goes Swiss for preparations

Elite cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti will spend the next five weeks training for his first appearance in the 2012 London Olympic Games which start next month.

The MTN Qhubeka rider is currently being trained by Thomas Frischknecht, a two-time world cycling champion for Switzerland.

But despite intense training, national Team coach Jonathan Boyer expects the rider to struggle in the unfamiliar short races at the Olympic Games.

“Adrien is used to racing in long distances and particularly hilly terrains, so he is likely to struggle a bit in the short distances at the Olympics. But he is a tough young man with incredible talent, I expect him to challenge,” said the American trainer, a former Tour de France competitor.

The National Olympics Committee has estimated that Rwf214.4m is needed for the preparation and participation in this year’s Olympic Games that run from July 27 to August 12.

Serge Mwambali, the Chef de Mission says Rwf64.8m will be set aside for preparation while Rwf149.6m will be the participation costs for national teams.

Rwanda is expected to send a 50-man contingent consisting of 25 Olympic delegation and a 25 strong man Paralympics team.

The Paralympics commence on August 29 to September 9 in London.

The country will have 11 athletes drawn from athletics, boxing, cycling, judo, swimming and Taekwondo with seven officials while five others officials will be from the Olympic committee.

In Paralympics, sitting volleyball team will be made up of 12 players and two officials, two athletes, accompanied by one official and one athlete in power lifting with one official as well as officials from NPC and Olympic committee to complete a 25-man delegation.

The budget that has been drafted will cater for airfare, uniforms, equipment, allowances, medical and communication costs, insurance, costumes, video footages and national flags.

Mwambali revealed that the local Olympics committee received Olympic grants worth Rwf111m from the International Olympic Solidarity and London Games organizers for pre-games training camp for Olympics and Paralympics teams.

Niyonshuti was the first athlete to qualify for the Games in February last year.

In Athletics, Jean Pierre Mvuyekure ran inside the marathon qualifying ‘B’ standard time to qualify for London Games in March after hitting 02:18:00 laid down by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) in Rome Marathon.

In Paralympics, Hermas Cliff Muvunyi and Theogne Hakizimana are the only qualified athletes in 400m T46 race and power lifting categories to date.

Rwanda has never won an Olympic medal, but athlete Jean de Dieu Nkundabera won a Paralympic bronze medal at the Athens Games in 2004.