Rwanda: Two Down, Two to Go As Swimmers Fail in Beijing
The New Times (Kigali)
15 August 2008
Posted to the web 16 August 2008
Rwanda's Olympic medal hunt is now left to the two runners, Dieudonne Disi and Epiphanie Nyirabarame after the two swimmers Jackson Niyomugabo and Pamela Girimbabazi failed to go past the preliminary phase.
Girimbabazi finished third in heat one yesterday at the national aquatics centre hence joining Niyomugabo out of the Beijing Games.
Niyomugabo was eliminated out of the Games on Thursday after finishing second in his heat in a time of the men's 50m freestyle.
Three-time Olympian Girimbabazi clocked 39:78 seconds to finish behind Bahrain representative Al Bitar Sameera who needed 30:32 win the heat.
Gloria Koussihouede (Benin) finished second in 37:09 while Guinea's Barry Djene used 39:80 to finish last in heat one that had only four competitors.
All heat one participants could not get a chance of reaching the semi finals their time was too far compared to the actual time needed for qualification. Girimbabazi's time was the 88th ranked overall out of the 90 competitors.
Uganda's Olivia Nakitanda won heat three in 29:39 seconds while Burundi's Elsie Uwamahoro was seventh in heat after clocking 36:86 seconds.
The 50m freestyle world record holder Lisbeth Trickett stormed the semi finals after coming ahead in heat twelve in a time of 24:87 seconds.
With the swimmers out, Rwanda's medal hopes now remain on Disi (10.000m) and Nyirabarame (marathon). The pair will be in action tomorrow (Sunday).
Rwanda's high profile personalities who attended both men's and women's events included Rwanda's ambassador to China Ben Rugangazi, RNOC boss Ignace Beraho, Chef de mission Thierry Ntwali and other Rwandans living in Beijing but one notable absentee was RNOC Secretary General Freddy Somayire who preferred to go on shopping in Hong Kong than supporting the swimmers.
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