Rwanda’s Athletes marathon runners Jean Baptiste Simukeka and Claudette Mukasakindi begun their two-month final training phase in the Kenyan town of Iten ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics Games,
Currently 3 Rwanda marathon runners has qualified, and will represent the country in the 2016 Olympic Games scheduled for August 5-26 in Brazil ; the qualified athletes are : MUKASAKINDI Claudette from APR Athletics Club, SIMUKEKA Jean Baptiste from APR Athletics Club and UWIRAGIYE Ambroise who lives and train in Netherland.
The duo (Mukasakindi Claudette and Simukeka Jean Baptiste) left the country on Monday accompanied by the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) technical director John Peter Ndacyayisenga, and will be joined by Holland-based Ambroise Uwiragiye later in July.
RAF decided to send the trio to Iten for intensive training to improve their performance alongside world class athletes, who are also training from there.
Iten is a town in Elgeyo – Marakwet Country of Kenya, located along between Eldoret and Kabarnet, it’s the Capital and largest town of Elgeyo – Marakwet County.
The City have been since a long time a training area for high performance athletes orginated from St. Patrick High School located in the City and the school has, over the last 30 years, produced World – Class long distance athletes.
Alumni including Ibrahim Hussein winner of the three Boston Marathons and one New York City Marathon, and more many athletes have grown from the school like Peter Rono, a 1988 Olympic gold medalist at 1,500 meters ; Wilson Boit Kipketer, a 1997 world champion and 2000 Olympic silver medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase ; Matthew Birir, 1992 Olympic gold medalist at the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and David Rudisha, 2012 Olympic gold medalist and world record holder at 800m. The coach of these athletes, Brother Colm O’Connell of Ireland, came to Iten in 1976 expecting to stay just three months. He has lived in Iten ever since.
Many athletes, including Rudisha, and world champions Edna Kiplagat, Florence Kiplagat, Lornah Kiplagat, Linet Masai, and Mary Keitany have made homes in Iten, and today many countries use to train their athletes in Iten as a High Altitude Training Center.
Rwanda Athletics Federation after qualifying the three athletes for the 2016 Olympic Games decided to send the trio in Iten for their training which are expected to increase their perforrmance and competitivness spirit as they will be training with World Class Athletes who are also training there for the above mentioned Olympic Games.
Athletes are expected to return home in August before heading to Rio de Janeiro.