Burundi’s female athlete Francine Niyonsaba was received with a hero’s welcome as drummers, dancers, artists and government officials on Wednesday September 22nd, 2021 took over the streets to welcome the ace from her very recent competition in Valencia.
Niyonsaba is now the 2000m World Record holder after breaking the record of Genzebe Dibaba (5:23.75) that was set in February 2017, “I am touched by this welcome. They wanted to burry me alive but here I am today with a world record. A world record held by a Burundian athlete is really historic. All athletes dream of it, few succeed,” she said on her arrival at the Melchior Ndadaye International airport in Bujumbura.
Her comments came after the World Athletics body introduced controversial rules governing testosterone, Burundi’s ace Francine Niyonsaba was among the athletes found with the unusual high levels of testosterone.
In May 2019 the World Athletes body introduced the controversial law that prohibits such female athletes from competing in races between 400m and a mile unless they undergo treatment to reduce the levels.
Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba was forced to calibrate from 800m to adopting to more long distance running including 2000m and 5000m.
“Next year, I promise to come back with a trophy. The one for the world championship in athletics. I will continue to fight for my country and my family. I am sure I will achieve this goal” she said.
Burundian athlete Francine Niyonsaba broke the World’s 2000m in a race that took place in Croatia at 71st Boris Hanzekovic Memorial University Park on September 14, 2021.
Francine Niyonsaba clocked her best running record in 2,000 meters finishing the race at 5:21.56 breaking the record of Genzebe Dibaba (5:23.75) that was set in February 2017.
In less than a month Francine Niyonsaba won six medals and trophies including Eugene in USA, Paris in France, Brussels in Belgium, Zurich in Switzerland, Zagreb (Croatia) and in Valencia in Spain.
While holding her Diamond League trophy standing in an open roof Toyota Land cruiser, the athlete was driven around the streets of Bujumbura with thousands of people cheering and escorting her to Kiriri where a welcoming ceremony was organized.