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Rwanda at the 2012 Summer Olympics

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Rwanda at the
2012 Summer Olympics
Flag of Rwanda.svg
IOC code RWA
NOC Comité National Olympique et Sportif du Rwanda
in London
Competitors 7 in 4 sports
Flag bearer Adrien Niyonshuti
Medals
Gold Silver Bronze Total
0 0 0 0
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)

Rwanda competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The country's participation at London marked its eighth appearance in the Summer Olympics since its début at the 1984 Summer Olympics. The delegation included seven competitors which included three track and field athletes; Robert Kajuga, Jean Pierre Mvuyekure and Claudette Mukasakindi. The other people that represented the country were cross-country cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti, judoka Fred Yannick Uwase, swimmers Jackson Niyomugabo and Alphonsine Agahozo. The track and field athletes qualified for the Games by meeting qualification standards while the remaining four made the Olympics by using wildcards. Niyonshuti was the flag bearer for both the opening and closing ceremonies. No athletes were able to achieve medals at the London Olympic Games.

Background[edit]

Rwanda participated in eight Summer Olympic Games between its début at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.[1] The highest number of athletes sent by Rwanda to a summer Games was ten to the 1992 Olympics. No Rwandan athlete has ever won a medal at the Olympic Games.[1] Rwanda participated in the London Summer Olympics from 27 July to 12 August 2012.[2] The Rwandan National Olympic Committee (NOC) selected three track and field athletes via qualification standards. An NOC would be able to enter up to three qualified athletes in each individual event as long as each athlete met the "A" standard, or one athlete per event if they met the "B" standard.[3]

The seven athletes that were selected to compete in the London Games were Robert Kajuga in the men's 10,000 metres, Jean Pierre Mvuyekure in the men's marathon, Jean Pierre Mvuyekure in the women's marathon, Adrien Niyonshuti in the men's cross-country cycling, Fred Yannick Uwase in the men's 73 kilograms in judo, Jackson Niyomugabo in the men's 50 metre freestyle and Alphonsine Agahozo in the women's 50 metre freestyle.[2] Long-distance runner Épiphanie Nyirabaramé was unable to qualify after being unable to meet the required qualification standards.[4] Niyonshuti was the flag bearer for both the opening and closing ceremonies.[5][6] The team trained at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre's track and swimming facilities for a two-week period in a deal which was announced in October 2009.[7][8] The delegation was led by their chef de mission Serge Mwambali which included the NOC president Charles Rudakubana and secretary-general Parfait Busabizwa.[9] The athletes were coached by Justin Guillemin, Nicholas Dusine and Innocent Rwabuhihi.[10] Rudakubana said on 20 June that Rwanda's target was to achieve medals.[11]

Athletics[edit]

Robert Kajuga finished 14th in the men's 10,000 metres

Robert Kajuga was one of the two oldest male athletes to represent Rwanda at the London Olympics, at 27 years old. He had not taken part in any previous Olympic Games.[2] Kajuga qualified for the Games via qualification standards because his fastest time of 28 minutes and three seconds, set at the 2012 African Championships in Athletics which placed him fifth, was two seconds faster than the "B" qualifying standard for his event, the 10,000 metres.[3][12] He was the second Rwandan track and field athlete to attain qualification.[12] He competed in the event, held on 4 August, finishing 14th out of 26 athletes overall,[n 1] with a time of 27 minutes and 56.67 seconds.[13] The time was a new personal best for the athlete but was 35 seconds slower than the Rwandan national record.[14] Kajuga ranked ahead of Nguse Tesfaldet Amlosom of Ethopia (27 minutes and 56.78 seconds) and Thomas Ayeko from Uganda (27 minutes and 58.96 seconds) but behind Dathan Ritzenhein of the United States (27 minutes and 45.89 seconds).[13] He finished 26.25 seconds behind event winner Mo Farah of Great Britain (27 minutes and 30.42 seconds).[13] After completing the event Kajuga said that he was "really happy" with his performances and that his début Olympic Games was a "good experience".[14]

The 2012 Summer Games marked Jean Pierre Mvuyekure's Olympic début.[2] He qualified for the Games because his fastest time of two hours, 17 minutes and 32 seconds, set at the 2012 Rome Marathon, was 28 seconds faster than the "B" qualifying standard for his event, the marathon.[3][15] In an interview before the race Mvuyekure stated that he was "really ready" to participate and hoped to run to the best of his ability. After heavy rain fell in London before the marathon he said that it could impede some runners but did not want to use the weather as an excuse.[16] He competed in the 12 August event, finishing 79th out of 85 runners,[n 2] with a time of two hours, 51 minutes and seven seconds.[17] He finished in front of Greece's Konstantinos Poulios (two hours, 33 minutes and 17 seconds) and Zohar Zimro of Israel (two hours, 34 minutes and 59 seconds) but behind Ram Singh Yadav from India (two hours, 30 minutes and six seconds). Mvuyekure was 22 minutes and 18 seconds behind the marathon winner Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (two hours, eight minutes and one second).[17]

Claudette Mukasakindi was the oldest athlete to represent Rwanda at the London Games at the age of 29. She had not participated in any previous Olympic Games.[2] Mukasakindi attained qualification into the Games because her fastest time of two hours, 40 minutes and 18 minutes, set at the 2012 Cagliari Marathon, was two minutes and 42 seconds faster than the "B" qualifying standard for her event, the marathon.[3][18] She was initially denied entry into the Games because the world athletics governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, did not recognise the Cagliari Marathon as an eligible event for qualification.[18] Injuries and poor performances from other athletes allowed her to enter the Olympics.[4] Mukasakindi participated in the marathon, held on 5 August, finishing 101st out of 107 competitors,[n 3] with a time of two hours, 51 minutes and seven seconds. She finished ahead of Luvsanlkhündegiin Otgonbayar of Mongolia (two hours, 52 minutes and 15 seconds) and Evelin Talts from Estonia (two hours, 54 minutes and 15 seconds) but behind Australia's Benita Willis (two hours, 49 minutes and 38 seconds).[19] Mukasakindi finished 28 minutes behind event winner Tiki Gelana of Ethopia (two hours, 23 minutes and seven seconds).[19]

Key
  • Note–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only
  • Bye = Athlete not required to compete in round
Men
Athlete Event Final
Result Rank
Robert Kajuga 10000 m 27:56.67 14
Jean Pierre Mvuyekure Marathon 2:30:19 79
Women
Athlete Event Final
Result Rank
Claudette Mukasakindi Marathon 2:51:07 101

Cycling[edit]

Adrien Niyonshuti finished 39th in the men's cross-country cycling race.

Adrien Niyonshuti, who at the age of 25 was taking part in his first Olympic Games,[2] was Rwanda's sole representative in the men's cross-country cycling event, and was notable for carrying his nation's flag at the opening and closing ceremonies.[5][6] He qualified for the Games based on his performance at the 2011 African Continental Mountain Bike Championship.[20] Niyonshuti said that he was putting his focus towards the event and wanted to impress his family, "To have everyone say they are behind me makes me feel good. When people congratulate me for getting to the Olympics, it gives me a confidence and it tells me that yeah, I did well. I just want to go there and compete and finish the race. To know that so many people are behind me makes me not want to disappoint them."[5] He took part in the 12 August race, finishing 39th out of 40 cyclists,[n 4] with a time of one hour, 42 minutes and 46 seconds.[21] Niyonshuti ranked behind Russia's Evgeniy Pechenin (one hour, 41 minutes and 40 seconds) Chan Chun Hing of Hong Kong (one hour, 41 minutes and 59 seconds) but in front of last place finisher Marios Athanasiadis from Cyprus (one hour, 43 minutes and 25 seconds). He was 13 minutes and 39 seconds behind the race winner Jaroslav Kulhavý of the Czech Republic (one hour, 29 minutes and seven seconds).[21]

Mountain biking[edit]

Athlete Event Time Rank
Adrien Niyonshuti Men's cross-country 1:42:46 39

Judo[edit]

ExCeL London, where Uwase participated in the men's judo competition.

At the time of the Games, Fred Yannick Uwase was the youngest male competitor representing Rwanda at the age of 18. He was the country's sole representative in Judo and had not taken part in any previous Olympic Games.[2] Uwase was issued with a wildcard by the Tripartite Commission to compete in the Games after being defeated in the third round of the 2012 African Judo Championships by Mazou Abaker Mbairo.[22] He became the first Rwandan judoka to qualify for the Olympic Games.[23] Uwase received a bye in the first round and faced Brazilian athlete Bruno Mendonça on 30 July. He was defeated by his opponent in a 53-second match and thus was unable to advance to the third round of the competition.[24]

Athlete Event Round of 64 Round of 32 Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Repechage Final / BM
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Rank
Fred Yannick Uwase Men's −73 kg Bye  Mendonça (BRA)
L 0000–0100
Did not advance

Swimming[edit]

The London Aquatics Centre where Niyomugabo and Agahozo competed in swimming events.

Jackson Niyomugao, at the age of 24, was the only Rwandian competitor in the London Games to have participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[2] He qualified the Games after receiving a wildcard from the Olympic Solidarity Committee which was announced in the week before the start of the Olympics and was the last Rwandan athlete to attain qualification.[25] After being eliminated from the heat stages in the previous Olympic Games in Beijing Niyomugao said he wanted to win a medal in London and that if he had more support, he would possibly be able to swim quicker but hoped to see the results.[26] He was drawn in the second heat held on 2 August, finishing fourth out of seven swimmers, with a time of 27.38 seconds.[27] He ranked ahead of Uganda's Ganzi Mugula (27.58 seconds) and Paul Edingue Ekane from Cameroon (27.87 seconds) but behind Ching Maou Wei of American Samoa (27.30 seconds) in a heat led by Abdourahman Osman from Djibouti (27.25 seconds).[27] Overall Niyomugao finished 52nd out of 58 competitors overall, but did not progress to the semi-finals because her time was 5.11 seconds slower than the slowest swimmer who made the later stages.[27]

Alphonsine Agahozo was the youngest person to compete for Rwanda at the London Olympics at the age of 16 and made her first appearance in a Summer Games.[2] She qualified for the Games by being awarded a universality place by swimming's world governing body FINA because her fastest time of 5.65 seconds slower than the "B" qualifying standard for her event, the 50 metres freestyle.[28][29] In an interview with Reuters before the Games Agahozo said that she was competing against the world but noted that she had experience in other events and felt she would be "ok".[30] She took part in the third heat of event on 3 August, finishing third out of eight competitors, with a time of 30.72 seconds.[31] Agahozo finished ahead of Nada Mohamed Wafa Arakji of Qatar (30.89 seconds) and Katerina Izmailova from Tajikistan (31.27 seconds) and behind Hem Thon Vitiny of Cambodia (30.44 seconds) in a heat led by Antigua and Barbuda's Karin O'Reilly Clashing (30.01 seconds).[31] Overall she finished 58th out of 73 swimmers,[n 5] and was 5.44 seconds slower than the slowest competitor who progressed to the later stages and did not advanced to the semi-finals.[31]

Men
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Jackson Niyomugabo 50 m freestyle 27.38 52 Did not advance
Women
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Alphonsine Agahozo 50 m freestyle 30.72 58 Did not advance

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Three athletes were unable to finish the race.[13]
  2. ^ Twenty athletes did not finish.[17]
  3. ^ Eleven competitors did not finish.[19]
  4. ^ Two cyclists were lapped, five did not finish and three did not start.[21]
  5. ^ One swimmer, Eszter Dara, did not start.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Countries – Rwanda". Sports Reference. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Rwanda at the 2012 London Summer Games". Sports Reference. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "London 2012 Olympics: Athletics qualification". The Daily Telegraph. 15 April 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Mbaraga, Julius (16 July 2012). "Nyirabarame Olympic Snub Timely". The New Times. African News Agency. Retrieved 6 November 2016 – via General OneFile. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ a b c "Rwandan mountain biker's rocky ride to London". RTÉ Sport. 13 July 2012. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "London 2012 Closing Ceremony – Flag Bearers" (PDF). Olympic.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "London 2012: Bury St Edmunds hosts Rwandan Olympic team". BBC News. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  8. ^ MacKay, Duncan (17 October 2009). "Rwanda to train in Bury St Edmunds for London 2012". Inside the Games. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  9. ^ Mugabe, Bonnie (14 July 2012). "Athletes intensify London Olympic preparations". The New Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  10. ^ Ghaemi, Mariam (18 July 2012). "Bury St Edmunds: Fond farewell for Rwandan Olympic team". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  11. ^ Mugabe, Bonnie (22 June 2012). "RNOC boss dreaming of Olympic medal in London". The New Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Arinaitwe, Ostine (1 July 2012). "Kajuga qualifies for Olympic Games". The New Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d "2012 Summer Olympics – Results – Athletics – Men's 10000m". ESPN. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Mugabe, Bonnie (6 August 2012). "Kajuga satisfied with Olympics debut". The New Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  15. ^ Mbaraga, Julius (19 May 2012). "Rwanda: London Not Calling: Little Hope for Country's Delegation at Olympics". Amandla News. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  16. ^ Mugabe, Bonnie (8 August 2012). "Mvuyekure eyes memorable debut". The New Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  17. ^ a b c "Track and Field / Menʼs Marathon". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  18. ^ a b Mugabe, Bonnie (17 May 2012). "Mukasakindi denied". The New Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  19. ^ a b c "2012 Summer Olympics – Results – Athletics – Women's marathon". ESPN. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  20. ^ "Results – Mountain Bike 2011 – Men – Elite – African Championships (RSA/CC) – Cross Country". Union Cycliste Internationale. 12 February 2011. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c "Results – Mountain Bike – Men's Cross-country". USA Today. Gannett Company. 12 August 2012. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  22. ^ Mugabe, Bonnie (17 June 2012). "Judo starlet gets nod for London Games". The New Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  23. ^ "Fred Yannick Uwase: J'Aimerais Revivre Ces Instants Magiques". AllJudo.net (in French). 3 October 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  24. ^ Coellen, Prisiclla (30 July 2012). "Arbitragem – Tempo de Reflexão". MMA Brasil (in Portuguese). Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  25. ^ Mugabe, Bonnie (20 July 2012). "Swimmer Niyomugabo gets Olympic slot". The New Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  26. ^ "Swimming: Rwanda's textbook Olympian hopeful of writing his own winning chapter". The Toronto Sun. Associated Press. 29 July 2012. p. S6. Retrieved 6 November 2016 – via General OneFile. (subscription required (help)). 
  27. ^ a b c "2012 Summer Olympics Results – Swimming – Results for Men's 50m Freestyle". ESPN. Archived from the original on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  28. ^ "FINA Universality Places" (PDF). FINA. 6 July 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  29. ^ Keith, Branden (25 November 2010). "FINA Announces Qualifying Standards for London 2012". Swim Swam. Archived from the original on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  30. ^ Clover, Jenny (15 July 2012). "Olympics-Swimming-Rwandan, 15, makes dad and nation proud". Reuters. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  31. ^ a b c d "Swimming / Womenʼs 50m Freestyle". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2016.