D-Day for Niyonshuti
Rwanda’s top rider Adrien Niyonshuti will be hoping that four years of hard work pays off today when he takes part in the London Olympic Games Mountain Bike Cross Country competition.
The 25-year old, who had a two week pre-games training camp in Switzerland, told this paper last month that winning a medal may be a little far for him, but would work hard to make sure he gets a good finishing position.
Over 50 elite riders from across the world will take part in the 90km at Hadleign Farm. Niyonshuti was the first Rwandan athlete to qualify for the London Games, and remains the country’s main hope for a good showing.
It may have taken a long time but, at long last, Rwanda has a cyclist, who is good enough to represent the country at the Olympic Games.
Niyonshuti, who rides for South African club MTN/Qhubeka, made cycling history when he finished fourth in the Pro-elite men’s race of the African Championship at Jonkershoek, and in doing so, he will be the first Rwandan mountain biker to compete at the Olympics.
Tough test for Mvuyekure
Jean Pierre Mvuyekure faces the toughest test of his career when makes his Olympics bow in the grueling 42km men’s marathon race today at the London Games.
Mvuyekure whose personal best stands at 2:17:32, will have to be at his best in a strong field that includes Kenyan trio of Emmanuel Mutai, Wilson Kipsang and Abel Kirui, who are planning to sweep all medals.
Ethiopians will be the Kenyans’ closest challengers for the medals: Kipsang is one of most commanding figures in the event, winning the London Marathon in April. Mutai perennially finishes near the top and Kirui is a two-time defending world champion.
Men’s Marathon 11:50 SS4
Men’s Mt. Bike Cross Country 14:25 SS4
By Ostine Arinaitwe & Bonnie Mugabe, The New Times
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