Rwanda team to African championship named

New Times

The Rwanda Boxing team to feature at the African Boxing Championship later this month has been named.

The team was picked after a four-day selection tournament that climaxed over the weekend at Amahoro National Stadium and is expected to depart for the championship in Congo Brazzaville on May 25.

Rwanda didn’t send any participants to the last edition which was hosted by Morocco two years ago.

“There were several tough decisions we had to make, but it shows the level of talent we have in Rwanda. The selected team includes a fantastic group of fighters, who we believe will do Rwanda proud,” Jean Claude Gatorana, one of the three coaches that conducted the selection process told Rwandan press.

“Even though our boxers lack the experience of participating in major competitions, there is no doubt that we have the talent, it’s a matter of building up their confidence. They have been training in their respective clubs, so it’s not as if they are rusty,” Gatorana explained.

Rwanda Amateur Boxing Association president Vicky Kalisa revealed that the team will immediately enter camp in Kigali for two weeks before traveling to Congo.

“Our goal is to perform well and qualify for the 2018 World Boxing Championships in Hamburg, Germany which will also be the new road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” Kalisa said.

Rwanda last competed at a boxing continental event in May 2014 when Cyiza took part in the All Africa Youth Games held in Botswana, winning Rwanda’s first medal (bronze) in boxing.

The Final Team: Olivier Niyigena (52kg), David Nsabimana (57kg), Alex Niyomurenyi (60kg), Jean Pierre Cyiza, Charles Muvunyi (64kg), Vincent Nsengiyumva (81kg) and one female boxer, Rachel Iratuzi (62kg).

Reserve Team: Zakariya Niyonagize (52kg), Eric Baributa(57kg), Emmanual Ntare (60kg), John Ndahimana (64kg) and Samson Nshimiyimana (81kg) and female boxer; Cecile Umubyeyi (57kg).