BUJUMBURA April 5th (ABP) – The Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Mr. Salvator Bigirimana told a check by ABP that a total of 10 Burundian athletes are Olympic solidarity scholarship holders and are training to seek qualification for the Olympic Games which will be held in Paris since July 26, 2024. It was on March 14, during the relay around the world in Burundi 500 days from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, a relay organized by the French Embassy to Burundi. He indicated that gender parity was respected.
The check by ABP met four of them, others being outside the country for regional and international qualifying competitions.
Miss Emmanuella Rukundo will try to snatch her qualification in cycling. Miss Rukundo participated in the African Cycling Championships held in Ghana, on February 8-13, 2023, where she had better performances. She said that at the individual level of the “time trial”, she ranked 4th while at the level of the “line race”, team race, she ranked 5th.
Miss Rukundo notes that she would have done better and won a medal if she had at her disposal the appropriate equipment for the competition, including the bike and the jerseys. Miss Rukundo also participated in the African Championships held in Egypt from March 5 to 9. She deplores the fact that she used a bike that did not comply with the competition. She asks for support in appropriate competition equipment: a specialized bike and the right clothing, which are an essential equipment to qualify for future international competitions.
For his part, Mr. Rémy Nikobimeze, para-Olympian on 1500 meters, has already validated his ticket for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. He said he was confident that he will be able to bring back a medal to the country.
Two other Olympian athletes that the check by ABP met, indicated that they are preparing for the next qualifying campaigns. This is Mr. Rodrigue Kwizera who is seeking qualification in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. The latter won the minima in the 10,000 meters for participation in the world athletics championships to be held in August 2023 in Budapest, Hungary. This is also Mr. Eric Nzikwinkunda who hopes to qualify for the 800 meters.
Mr. Bigirimana also said that the NOC and the ministry in charge of sports are working to support the athletes competing. Five disciplines are involved in this qualification campaign for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. These are athletics, boxing, cycling, judo and tennis.