Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)
At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, VÃ©nuste Niyongabo became the first Olympic champion from Burundi, when he won the 5,000 metres. Remarkably, he was better known as a 1,500 metre runner, and had only competed twice before in that event. Niyongabo came to international attention when he won silver in the 1,500 m at the 1992 World Junior Championships. He competed at the 1993 World Championships, but did not make the final, although he soon became one of the worldâs top 1,500 m runners, winning several major invitationals in 1994 and 1995, in addition to a bronze medal at the 1995 World Championships, behind fellow Africans [Noureddine Morceli] and [Hicham El Guerrouj].
At the 1996 Olympics, Niyongabo was considered a potential gold medal winner in the 1,500, but forfeited his spot to teammate [DieudonnÃ© Kwizera] and elected to contest the 5,000 m. After the Atlanta Olympics, Niyongabo struggled with injuries, and never again reached those levels. He competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but placed only 15th in his semi-final. After retiring from competition, Niyongabo worked for the Ekin division of Nike, Inc. in Italy.
Personal Best: 5000 â 13:03.29 (1996).
|1996 Summer||22||Atlanta||Athletics||Men's 5,000 metres||Burundi||BDI||1||Gold|
|2000 Summer||26||Sydney||Athletics||Men's 5,000 metres||Burundi||BDI||15 h2 r1/2|
|1996 Summer||22||Atlanta||Athletics||Burundi||Semi-Finals||Heat Two||2||QU||14:03.48|
|1996 Summer||22||Atlanta||Athletics||Burundi||Round One||Heat Three||3||QU||13:54.53|
|2000 Summer||26||Sydney||Athletics||Burundi||Round One||Heat Two||15||13:49.57|