ANOCA Youth Games in Rwanda
After four action-packed days, the inaugural ANOCA Zone V Youth Games came to a close Saturday afternoon in Huye as Eritreans outshined home riders in road race events.
Team Rwanda settled for two silver and one bronze medal, compared to cycling powerhouse Eritrea who scooped two gold and one silver, and as a result leapfrogged the hosts into the third position on the overall medal table.
Valentine Nzayisenga and Diane Ingabire won silver and bronze, respectively, in the girls’ road race, failing the gold to Eritrea’s Donait Tsegay in the final stretch of the 56.6km ride.
In boys’ category, Yowhanes Ghebrhiwet (gold) and Misgun Metkel (silver) proved too strong for Rwanda’s bronze medalist Jean Eric Habimana who crossed the finish-line a whopping 32 seconds behind the Eritrean duo.
Despite taking a lion’s share by numbers, only four of the twenty-two medals that Rwandans won were gold, placing the hosts in fourth position. They also included nine silver and nine bronze medals.
The guess nation, France, topped the table with ten medals (7 gold), Kenya was second with 14 medals (5 gold), while Eritrea completed top three with 7 medals, including 5 gold pieces.
After the official closing ceremony at Huye Stadium, the over 300 participants and officials paid a visit to Murambi Memorial Centre, in Nyamagabe District.
Egypt will host the event’s second edition in 2021.
Hundreds of participants and officials who were taking part in the event joined mourners in Huye District on Sunday evening to mark the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The night vigil, at Huye Stadium, was preceded by a ‘Walk to Remember’ from the University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR-CASS).
The inaugural edition of the regional (Eastern Africa) youth games concluded Saturday where Rwanda finished fourth behind France, Kenya and Eritrea.
Also, the flame of remembrance was lit at yesterday’s event and will burn for the next 100 days.
The youth games, which started on April 2, attracted around 350 athletes from twelve countries, vying for medals in five different disciplines; beach volleyball, taekwondo, 3×3 basketball, athletics and cycling.
Rwandan athletes won a total of twenty-two (4 gold, 9 silver, 9 bronze) medals across the five sports.
Besides the host nation, Rwanda, the other eleven countries that were represented included Egypt, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Egypt will host the 2021 edition of the now-biennial event, which is designed for Under-18 athletes.
William Blick, president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) Zone V, rallied the youth to become good ambassadors to fight genocide denial.
The themed message of this year’s competitions was the promotion of unity, peace and social cohesion.
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