Home » Sports » Athletics Team Off to SA

OVER 30 junior athletes left the country yesterday for the Southern Region Junior Athletics Championships starting tomorrow in Potchefstroom, South Africa. The meet scheduled to run for two days ends on Saturday with participants drawn from more than 10 countries within the regionexpected to compete in track and field events.

The Southern Region championships are the main qualifying event for the World Junior Championships to be staged in the United States in July. And Zimbabwe will be fielding 37 participants for this event after two athletes were dropped from the team, which was initially made up of 39 athletes.

National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe director for coaching and talent identification, Lisimati Phakamile said they are ready to represent the nation despite missing some top athletes like Takudzwa Muchichwa and Yvonne Vanhuvaone.

“The team has actually left Harare, they will go past Bulawayo picking some athletes.

“Actually they will be picking some athletes along the way and the picking points are Kadoma, Gweru, Bulawayo and they will pick some in Matabeleland North in Gwanda.

“The team is actually prepared and ready for the event. Morale is high although we are missing one of our top athletes like Takudzwa Muchichwa who is now in Germany. He left after we had started preparations for an academic scholarship.

“We have also decided to rest Yvonne Vanhuvaone as she prepares for the Africa Youth Games. She is our medal hopeful. After Nash, Cosasa and now going into the Southern Region then the Africa Youth Games we thought it was going to be too much for the young athlete so we gave her rest so that she could recover.

“However, we still have Michael Songore as our medal hopeful and Ruvarashe Mzinde.

“We also have two jumpers Brian Mada and Bhekisisa Tshuma.Those two guys should be able to pick one or two medals. We also expect our team to perform well in the relays, 4x100m and 4x400m,” said Phakamile.

Phakamile believes the team is adequately prepared for the task ahead and will rise to the occasion as they seek to get more athletes to make the qualifying times for the World Junior Championships.

“Looking at the last preparations, the last event at the National Sports Stadium, we feel the team is sharp and ready for competition.

“Our athletes perform well when the competition is high. We expect at least two more athletes to qualify for the World Junior Championships,” said Phakamile.

Some of the coaches accompanying the team are Benson Samu, Bright Nhubu and Njere Shumba.


Boys: Michael Songore, Tatenda Musarurwa, Lloyd Mhiripiri, Philimon Dlodlo, Andile Khumalo, Tatenda Tembo, Tatenda Chindowa, Nyasha Mutsetse, Titus Nyathi, Ngonidzashe Masundire, Tendai Mutonodzi, Pride Lusinga, Anesu Muswazi, Elvis Makaya, Tendai Zimuto, Moses Tarakinyu, Prince Dube, Bhekisisa Tshuma, Brian Mada, Prince Katuka, Mathew Msamanyada, Edwin Nyakuwengana.

Girls: Tapiwa Chetsanga, Bertha Chikanga, Buhle Geza, Tsitsi Mahachi, Opha Moyo, Ruvarashe Mzinde, Pesi Mutale, Cathrine Makaya, Mazvita Mtisi, Maryjoy Mudyiravanji, Enlitha Ncube, Vimbiso Majoni, Nomagugu Ndlovu, Wayne Nkomo, Chido Dzinotyiwei.

Source : The Herald