Rwanda Wins Gold at World Para-Taekwondo Championships

Jean de la Croix Nikwigize on the podium as he won the bronze medal at the World Para-Taekwondo Championship in London

The Rwandan flag was raised high and the national anthem sang thousands of miles away in London at the World Para-Taekwondo Championships.

Two Rwandans Consolee Rukundo and Jean de la Croix Nikwigize won gold and bronze medals at the tough championship on Thursday.

The World Para-Taekwondo Championships attracted about 260 athletes from 59 countries battling in for titles across 14 medal events.

Rwanda’s Rukundo won the K42 Female K42 -58 category after defeating Garcia Jessica of Mexico while Nikwigize finished joint third in the K41 Male K41 -61 male category. He lost to Morocco’s El Fedayni Abdennour 13-30 in his bid to reach the final.

Nikwigize finished joint third with Simon Csaba from Hungary to bag a bronze medal for Rwanda.

The duo came behind gold medalist Krichfalushiy Vladislav from Russia and silver medalist El Fedayni Abdennour from Morocco respectively.

Rwanda had sent six players but the rest comprised of Tuyishime Eriezel and Imanirakiza Jean Pierre could not get above the group stage whereas Bizumuremyi Jean Marie Vianney and Niriringiyimana Jean Claude were defeated by Russians in the quarterfinals.

In K42 Male K42 -61, Imanirakiza Jean Pierre lost to Thobroe Leif of Great Britain while Tuyishime Eriezel was disqualified in his match against Alikulov Javokhir of Uzbekistan.

Niringiyimana Jean Claude defeated Han Kookhyun of Korea 52-31 and Ibragimov Ismail of Russia 29-9 before qualifying to the quarter final of the K44 Male K44 -61.

In the quarter-final, Niringiyimana could not go past Ganbat Bolor-Erdene of Mongolia 10-31 to bow out.

Rukundo also competed in the K44 Female K44 -58 but lost Modro Suelen of Brazil 12-24.

The performances of Rwandan athletes helped the nation finish first on the African continental rankings with eight points followed by Morocco who have seven points respectively.




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