Africa: Yankurije Eyes Podium Finish At All-Africa Games

Rwanda international Marthe Yankurije has insisted she will be challenging for a podium finish in the ongoing 2019 All-Africa Games.

The 12th edition of All-Africa Games, the continent’s biggest sports event, started on August 16 in Rabat, Morocco, and will run through August 30.

Yankurije is one of the only two runners who will represent the country in athletics, along with Noel Hitimana. The two will compete in 10,000-metre categories.

Having finished second in women’s half-marathon during this year’s Kigali International Peace Marathon, Yankurije looks to continue her stellar season as she eyes qualification minima to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Speaking to Times Sport on Sunday, the middle and long-distance sensation said that her prime target in Morocco is to strike a medal, and she is ready for the challenge.

“I have been in intensive training for almost three weeks now, I feel fit and up for the task,” said Yankurije before noting that “Qualifying for the Olympic Games would be a dream-come-true.”

The APR athletics star will compete on August 29, three days after her compatriot Hitimana, 30, vies for honours in the men’s 10,000 metres race.

Both making their debut in the quadrennial event, Yankurije and Hitimana will depart Kigali for Morocco on Thursday.

The 2019 All-Africa Games have attracted a total of 6000 athletes from 54 countries, competing in 26 disciplines. Of the 26, 18 sports are expected to be qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics.

Besides athletics, Rwanda is also represented in cycling and beach volleyball.

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