Rwanda Beach Volleyball Tournament for AIDS awareness
The competition featured 14 men’s and 8 women’s teams including the pairing of Jean Luc Mbonyuwontuma and Flavier Ndamukunda, who won the men’s title, and Denise Mutatsimpundu and Charlotte Nzayisenga, who clinched the women’s gold.
The matches were played on two courts on the Golf Beach, in the Western province of Rwanda. Two international teams from Burundi came to compete, and the tournament drew the participation of both the women’s and men’s African beach volleyball junior champion teams from 2012.
Thrills and joy surrounded the fantastic men's final, where two teams from the same pool in the preliminaries played again for the gold. Mbonyuwontuma and Ndamukunda defeated Yvan Dukundane and Brian Mugabowingabo 2-0 (21-17, 21-14).
“That was our time to prove that we beat them in preliminaries on merit and we did it; it was more difficult because they had seen our tactics and made a plan, but finally we won,” said Ndamukunda, the captain of the Rwandan team. “We are very happy for that victory because it is an international victory. I think it was a good match for both sides, and for the spectators.”
“We have done our best to win but it didn’t work,” said Mugabowingabo. “We will not give up, though, and I think it is good for us because we played well. Our vision is to play on the international level and represent our lovely country, Burundi. We face them at home next year, and I think we will do the same as they did to us here – normally our tactics are based on service and the wind, but here there was no wind so we could not be successful.”
On the women's side, the final match pitted Mutatsimpundu and Ndayisenga, the African junior champions in 2012, against Yvette Igihozo and Angelique Uwimbabazi. The former team won 2-0 (21-16, 21-13).
“We played well in the match and we defended our African title,” said Nzayisenga. “It was a good and fair match; our target was to win the tournament and we did it.”
“We lost the game but it was a good game for us, we didn’t train much because we’re in the final year exams at school but we are happy for that results,” said Uwimbabazi after losing the final match against Mutatsimpundu and Ndayisenga.