Burundi’s 800m runner back with gold medal

Francine Niyonsaba, a young female Burundian athlete, successfully defended her world indoor 800m title in Birmingham on Sunday 4th March 2018. She is happy to be back victorious and calls on other young people to work hard in order to make known the country all over the world.

Francine Niyonsaba: ‘It is my country’s victory’

Francine Niyonsaba: ‘It is my country’s victory’

“It is a great pleasure to come back with the gold medal. It is my victory but it is most of all my country’s victory,” said Francine Niyonsaba, the 800m female athlete.

Niyonsaba advises young people to work hard. “I advise all young people to work hard so that they can also go further in their life”, she says.

Sinzinkayo Jean Pierre, Secretary General of Athletics Federation, says Burundi is preparing the next generation to have substitutes. “We have changed strategies; we organize competitions at the provincial, national as well as regional level. I can say that we are preparing substitutes for runners like Francine Niyonsaba and Venuste Niyongabo that the country has known so far”, he says.

The 24-year-old athlete from Burundi ran a world lead of 1:58.31 after kicking past Wilson, who had led through the bell in 59.02 before clocking 1:58.99 for silver. Niyonsaba also won the silver medals at the Rio Olympics and 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.