Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) have shown early intent of claiming gold medals in both Basketball and Handball disciplines in as far as the on-going East Africa Military Sports Games is concerned.
Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) has fielded teams in football, cross country, handball, netball and basketball.
If the start to this year’s event is anything to go by considering the maturity, experience and performance of every team, then it would not be wrong to conclude that RDF’s basketball and handball teams have an upper edge of emerging victors at the end of round-robin competition.
Rwanda Defense Force (RDF)’s basketball team thumped Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) 78-64 in the opening game on Wednesday at Amahoro indoor stadium.
The hosts dominated from start, taking the first quarter 14-10 but, TPDF got down to business by coming back into the game to lead 23-19.
RDF were unstoppable with their eventual highest points scorer Olivier Shyaka, making some rebounds to light the stadium as the both sides went into the break with the host leading 36-33.
In the third quarter, the game turned into a close contest, RDF coach brought on Elie Kaje and Parfait Ishimwe for Astride Mugabe and Parfait Ishimwe.
Rwanda’s Pacifique Habyarimana pulled off some outstanding moves to shoot a three- pointer as well as 2-pointer to stretch RDF’s lead to 67-61.
The defending champions continued to lead in the last five minutes, sealing off the win by a 12 point margin. Shyaka finished with the game high 28 points while Amin Mkosa and teammate Karim Sameh had 21 and 23 respectively for TPDF.
The Rwandan side was scheduled to resume play on Friday night battling their counterparts from UPDF, whereas TPDF will be up against on Saturday. Rwanda’s final game is on Sunday against Kenya.
In Netball, Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) netball team lost match 22-43 against their Kenyan and their second game was on Friday but by press time, the game was still underway at Amahoro stadium.
Favourites Tanzania beat defending champions UPDF 29-27 in a closely contested game that ended in a dramatic fashion when two players from both sides exchanged blows.
In Athletics, it was a Kenyan-affair as they dominated the 10km races in both men and women held in Kicukiro.
Sheila Chepkiryi clocked 31:17:18 to win the women’e event, closely followed by countrymates Jyceline Chepkosgei and Sudy Chemutai ins econd and third positions.
Rwanda’s best ranked athlete was Iranzi Celine who finished a distant 12th, three minutes behind Chepkiryi.
It was the same Kenyan affair in the men’s category as Emmanuel Kipsang clocked 27:15:68 to claim gold while countrymates Flanklin Celel and Stephen Arita finished second and third respectively.
Joseph Nzirorera finished as the best ranked Rwandan in 8th slot, two minutes behind the winner.
In Football, APR, representing the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) succumbed to a 1-0 loss to an experienced Kenya’s Ulinzi FC on Monday at Amahoro stadium.
Striker Hassan Mohammed scored the lone goal of the game in the 10thminute to earn his side three crucial points.
“We lost the game because we lacked coordination amongst ourselves. We started with six new players, in addition to the fact that we haven’t played any pre-season matches, which made it so difficult for the players,” admitted Kanyankole.
Rwanda returns to action on Sunday against Uganda seeking to win and boost their chances of winning the football title. Uganda edged Tanzania 2-1 in their opening game. Rwanda’s final game is against Tanzania next Wednesday at Stade de Kigali.
The four teams will face each other on a round robin format and the team with the most points will be crowned champions.
In handball, Rwanda edged Tanzania 27-24 in their opening game. Their next game is against Uganda on Sundaybefore winding up against Kenya on Tuesday next week.
Last year, Rwanda ended Kenya’s eight-year dominance in handball as they emerged champions for the first time in Kampala.
Experience is a determinant key in prospective winners at the on-going East African Military Games and Cultural Event.
Rwanda is hosting the event for the second time; first time was in 2009.
Last year, Rwanda emerged winners in Football, Handball and Basketball in Kampala/ Uganda.
14/08/2016: Rwanda vs Uganda (15h00, Nyamirambo stadium)
17/08/2016: Tanzania vs Rwanda (12h30, Amahoro Stadium)
12/08/2016: Uganda vs Rwanda (17h30, Amahoro indoor stadium)
14/08/2016: Rwanda vs Kenya (17h30, Amahoro indoor stadium)
13/08/2016: Uganda vs Rwanda (10h30, Amahoro stadium)
16/08/2016: Rwanda vs Kenya (08h00, Amahoro stadium)
12/08/2016: Rwanda vs Tanzania (14h00, Amahoro stadium)
13/08/2016: Uganda vs Rwanda (14h00, Amahoro stadium)