Sports

Local athletes fall short of IAAF qualifying standards

Athlets from APR club may have dominated yesterday’s national inter-club athletics assessment event at Amahoro stadium but that did not spare them the humiliation of failing to meet minimum qualifying time for international championships – just like anyone else who participated. The event was meant to select potential athletes who would represent Rwanda at the Africa senior Championships due in Morocco in August, IAAF World Junior Champions in Eugene, USA in July, and Commonwealth games in Scotland in August. However, in over eight categories in which different athletes participated, none could manage to register the minimum entry standard required for the games. Some athletes came close while others just performed dismally. Now the federation will have to task clubs to upgrade their training techniques ahead of the final testing session in April. The 10000m men’s race was won by APR’s Eric Sebahire after clocking 30.49.47, two minutes and 11 seconds shy of the official International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) entry standard. In 5000m, Godfrey Rutayisire (APR) beat NAS pair of Potien Ntawuyirushintege and Silas Rubayita to the podium after clocking 14.30.31 to win the race. He also came one minute and 31 seconds behind the official entry time. Rutayisire also led a 1-2-3 APR finish in the 1500m men’s final as he clocked 3.53.13 to beat club mates Joseph Nzirorera and Philbert Usabuwera who clocked 3.54.03 and 3.55.79. Jean Baptista Nkurikije beat teammate Musa Bizimana and Marc Ishimwe from VJN to the 400m podium as he clocked 49.91. Bizimana and Ishimwe ran in 50.68 and 52.65 respectively. Timothy Bagire beat Rwamagana’s Marcel Ngabonziza and club mate Emmanuel Ntakiyimana to the 800m final after clocking 1.51.50.

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Handball federation to hold elections on March 15

Rwanda Handball Federation (Ferwahand) will hold its general elections on March 15. The outgoing executive committee completed its four-year term last month. Positions that are up for grabs include the federation president, two vice-presidents, secretary general and treasurer. The executive committee is the one that puts in place the technical team as well as the commissions in charge of marketing, communication, and discipline, among others. The outgoing president, Theogene Utabarutse, has yet to confirm or deny he will seek a second term but secretary general Alfred Twahirwa has hinted he may put his name up for reelection. “I think we did well during the last four years,” said Twahirwa. He noted that election exercise will be handled by an independent commission. Meanwhile, four new clubs have registered to compete in next season’s national handball league, scheduled to kick off on March 22, pending approval by the incoming committee. The new teams include, University of Rwanda – College of Education (former KIE, in both men and women), UR-College of Business and Economics (former SFB), Rwamagana-based APEGA Gahengeri, and Saint Aloys Rwamagana. By Richard Bishumba,The New Times

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She-Amavubi leave for Nairobi Thursday

Rwanda national women’s football team (She-Amavubi) will depart for Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday,  ahead of their second leg of the 2014 African Women Championships qualifiers preliminary round due Saturday. In the first leg in Kigali a week ago, Rwanda won 1-0. Remera Rukoma’s forward Alice Niyoyita scored the lone goal of the match at Stade de Kigali, handing her side a slim advantage going into the second leg. In the build-up to the weekend’s crucial encounter against the more experienced Kenya side, Grace Nyinawumuntu’s team was thrashed 6-0 by the national Under-17 boys’ team on Saturday at Ferwafa ground in Remera. “Minus the loss to the junior boys’ team, our preparations generally are going well, everyone is determined to see that we finish off the job we started last week in Kigali,” Nyinawumuntu said on Sunday. However, she noted that she is concerned with minor injuries on two key players whom she preferred not to disclose. The former Rwanda international central defender will release the final 18-player team on Wednesday evening. The winner over the two legs will proceed to the next round to play the winner of the Nigeria/Sierra Leone fixture. The 2014 African Women’s Championships will be staged in Namibia from October 15-25. By Richard Bishumba,The New Times

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SC Kiyovu’s assistant coach job up for grabs

Three local coaches have expressed interest in the job of assistant coach of national football league side SC Kiyovu following the sacking of François Kalisa last month. The successful candidate will work under head coach Gilbert Yaoundé Kanyankore. Kalisa was sacked by the club management on January 3.  Kanyankole later disclosed that he wasn’t consulted before the decision was taken. Kalisa had been at Kiyovu for five years, during which he worked under different head coaches. He also had a spell as interim coach last season following the resignation of Jean Baptiste Kayiranga (now at Gicumbi FC), but the results under him were disappointing. Kanyankore said: “I didn’t know he (Kalisa) was going to be relieved of his duties, they (club) didn’t consult me, it was their decision.” Four men are being tipped to land the job. They include former Police FC assistant coach Alphonse Gatera, Jean Paul Munyankindi and Leon Anselme Ruzindana. “The decision on who will be my assistant will be made by the management, but I have requested them to allow me to be part of the panel which will interview the candidates,” Kanyankore, 60, told Times Sport on Friday. SC Kiyovu are in fourth position on the 14-team league log with 32 points, ten behind leaders APR after 18 rounds of matches. Their next league match is against Marines at Mumena stadium on March 9. By Peter Kamasa ,The New Times

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Dickson Chumba triumphs at Tokyo Marathon

Dickson Chumba won the men’s race at the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday in a meet record of two hours, five minutes and 42 seconds as Kenyan and Ethiopian runners dominated the event. Dickson Chumba celebrates winning Tokyo Marathon The 27-year-old Kenyan was followed home by Tadese Tola of Ethiopia at 2:05:57 and fellow countryman Sammy Kitwara at 2:06:30. Chumba broke his own personal best time of 2:05:46 he clocked in winning the Eindhoven Marathon in 2012. Runners from the two African countries swept the top seven spots in the men’s race and the top five in the women’s. Ethiopia’s Tirfi Tsegaye won the women’s race in a meet record of 2:22:23. Fellow Ethiopian Berhane Dibaba finished second at 2:22:30 and Lucy Kabuu of Kenya third at 2:24:16. Tsegaye, 29, made her marathon debut in 2008 when she won the Porto Marathon. She won the Paris Marathon in 2012 and the Dubai Marathon last year. She set her personal best of 2:21:19 when she finished second at the 2012 Berlin Marathon. Under cloudy skies, about 36,000 runners took part in the eighth staging of the Tokyo event which was upgraded last year to one of the world’s major marathons, with the others comprising Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York. Chumba win and fast time earned him $107,000 in prize money for the win and course record. He said he plans to use part of the money to start up a business. “From the start, I felt that I can run a good race today,” said Chumba. “I am very happy. I hope to come back next year to run the Tokyo Marathon again. I didn’t have the confidence to run a faster time today, and I did not realise the time would be this fast until the very end.” In all, four runners cracked 2:07 and seven in total dipped below 2:08 in what proved to be one of the highest-quality marathons ever in Japan. — IAAF

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Western Stima cut off Barasa connection

Western Stima Coach Francis Barasa became the first Kenyan Premier League (KPL) tactician to be fired a few hours after his side went down 3-1 to Tusker on Saturday at Nyayo National Stadium. Francis Barasa Barasa confirmed he has received the letter sending him home but insisted he has no hard feelings over the move. “I really don’t understand what happened. After the game and without any explanation, I was given the letter sending me home. However, I take it positively and have no hard feelings,” he said. Barasa insisted his side gave their best despite going down 3-1 to Tusker. “The boys really gave their all and even some of our bosses were at the stadium to witness the same. So that cannot be the excuse for my sacking,” he said. Barasa joined Stima in 2012 and last year the team barely survived relegation after finishing in 12th position. In an earlier interview after his team went down to Tusker, Barasa had admitted their opponents were superior. “We could not stop them. They were very imposing but I also blame my defenders for failing to contain their forays into our half. “We did not relax but made many mistakes especially for the first and second goals. Our defenders watched as they brought in crosses from the flanks. It would have been easier to contain them but we did not,” he said. Barasa admitted the introduction of Jesse Were by his opponents was a game changer as the forward scored one and made assists in the other two. “Their substitutions worked well and Were destroyed us. He dropped and picked balls and we took time to stop him giving him too much space to play. We paid for it,” he added. Tusker Coach Francis Kimanzi on the other side accused Stima of playing negative football. “It was a bit disappointing to see them defend after scoring the opening goal. That was negative football and it denied the players an opportunity to show their best,” said Kimanzi. By Gilbert Wandera, The Standard

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Sony, Gor win to top KPL log: Sserunkuma and Oduor net crucial goals in Machakos

Gor Mahia and Sony Sugar picked maximum points at Machakos Municipal Stadium after stopping their opponents by an identical 1-0 scoreline. Stephen Ocholla (left) of Ulinzi Stars fight for ball with Abdallah Juma of AFC Leopards during their KPL Match at Nyayo Stadium. The teams drew 0-0. PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions stopped Mathare United 1-0 with  Dan Sserunkuma scoring the only goal of the match in the 47th minute. Sony Sugar on the other hand, upset favourites Sofapaka 1-0 with midfielder Edwin Oduor netting the all important goal in the 34th minute. Thousands of Gor Mahia fans thronged the Machakos Stadium to cheer their team catching most residents of the town by surprise. They arrived in buses and private cars painting the town green just before kick off. On the pitch, they were not disappointed as their team went on the offensive right from kick-off winning an early corner. Mathere United, playing their first match at their new home, also had some cards up their sleeve. In the seventh minute, they forced a free kick at the edge of Gor Mahia box after David Owino had fouled Daniel Mwaura. Noah Abich made a perfect delivery, which Vincent Otieno headed straight into the hands of goalkeeper Jerim Onyango. In the 13th minute Noah Abich made another great delivery from a free kick but the danger was well dealt with by Jerim Onyango in Gor Mahia goal. One minute later, Gor Mahia should have opened their account but Sserunkuma was denied by Peter Odhiambo in the Mathare United goal. Gor Mahia back line was nearly caught napping by Daniel Mwaura, after two minutes in a counter attack, as he beat an off-side trap to pick out Edwin Ombasa who wasted the opportunity. Gor Mahia were the more aggressive side as the second half kicked-off and were instantly rewarded when Sserunkuma’s point blank shot went past Odhiambo in the Mathare United goal for the only goal of the match. Earlier, Despite going down, Sofapaka dominated huge chunks of their match against Sony Sugar, based in Awendo. Sony’s goalkeeper Lucas Indeche was a busy man and he was forced to come out and deny Anthony Ndolo from point blank range in the 50th minute. Indeche put out the effort as Sofapaka got their third corner even before the second half was ten minutes old. An under pressure Sony side found their first break in the 56th  minute and were unlucky not to get a second goal. Evans Wandera out ran his markers but was fouled by Johnson Bogole who was cautioned for the offense. Victor Omondi wasted the effort from a free kick which he shot high. Sofapaka coach Sam Timbe then rested Antony Kimani for Elly Asieche and it almost bore divident as he kept the supply upfront. In Nairobi, giants AFC Leopards were held to barren draw by visiting Ulinzi Stars, their second draw in as many attempts,  at Nyayo National Stadium, yesterday. The match started on a high note with both teams making numerous raids but it was Leopard who pressed harder  winning a corner in the first minute Joseph Shikokoti failed to score. Ulinzi responded immediately launching a counter-attack, but Shikokoti blocked Elvis Nandwa’s shot at the edge of the box before Leopards goalkeeper Wycliffe Kasaya pulled off a fine save from Kevin Amwayi’s free-kick in the 12th minute. Leopards could have taken the lead two minutes later after Jacob Keli combined well with Allan Wanga, but the former’s goal was ruled offside. In the 27th minute, Oliver Kiprutto had a chance to put the Soldiers ahead from Mulinge Ndetto’s long throw-in, but his attempt was blocked by Leopards’ backline.  The game ended 0-0. At Hope centre in Nairobi, a lone goal from Peter Ng’ang’a was enough to secure City Stars all three points against Bandari. ...

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