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THE Zimbabwe Africa Youth Games team is set to get into camp today at ZESA Training Centre in Harare for their final preparations ahead of their departure to Botswana tomorrow. The Games will run from May 22 to May 31 in Gaborone with athletes from across the continent expected to take part in 20 sporting disciplines.The Games cater for athletes between the ages of 14 and 18.

Team Zimbabwe comprises 49 athletes and 19 officials and will compete in 10 disciplines – athletics, basketball, golf, judo, karate, netball, rowing, tennis, triathlon and swimming.

The Games will serve as a qualifying event for athletics, basketball and swimming for the second Summer Youth Olympic Games set for Nanjing, China, from August 16 to 28.

Chef de mission for the Games, Addison Chiware, said they were ready to make their presence felt in Botswana.

“The team is getting into camp tomorrow (today) at Zesa Training Centre and we will leave on Tuesday (tomorrow).

“I think we have a reasonable chance of getting people qualifying and to get medals. And I think we are looking at aquatics, triathlon, rowing have already qualified so we are looking at increasing the numbers for YOG (Youth Olympic Games).

“Athletes are committed and I think they will do their best. This a pre-departure camp, we could not afford to have a long camp because they are school-going children and this is an important time of the year, most of them are exam students, so they have to spend as little time as possible outside school,” said Chiware.

The athletes have been training with their respective coaches with athletics having competed in two regional competitions as part of their preparations for the Games and last month netball conducted their first camp last month to prepare for this continental event.

The first edition of the Africa Youth Games was held in Rabat, Morocco, in July 2010 and attracted over 1 000 athletes from 41 countries participating in 16 sport codes.

Zimbabwe was represented by Tinashe Mutanga (sprinter) and Sithulisiwe Zhou (middle-distance runner).

Mutanga went on to scoop two gold medals in the 100m and 200m event while Zhou came 16th in the 1 500m race.

The two athletes were part of the team that participated in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore in August of the same year.

However, this year, the Games will see an increased number of participants with 2 500 athletes competing in 20 sport disciplines.

While athletics, basketball and swimming will be using the Africa Youth Games for qualification, for some disciplines it will serve as a preparatory platform for YOG.

Team

Aquatics: Brown Roxanne, Idensohn Chad, Lawson Natasha, Lee Robyn, Mutangadura Ratidzo, Onorati Aidan, Onorati Chase, Wetzlar Peter Officials: Crause Sheelah, Takaedza Masi

Athletics: Chetsanga Tapiwa, Chitsato Robin, Niama Dube, Gambe Tinashe, Mudyiravanji Mary Joy, Munyawarara Tafadzwa, Ncube Enlitha, Ndlovu Nomagugu, Nyati Titus, Tapera Samuel, Tembo Tawanda, Vanhuvaone Yvonne, Officials: Nhubu Briad, Tarakino Precious

Golf: Krog Stuart Official: Murungweni Shorai Judo: Muparo Blessing Official: Mashayi Simba Karate: Banda Elizabeth, Mandengenda Naomi, Ntini Innocent Officials: Bunu Victor, Nyanhete Winston Rowing: Freeman Dexter , Mandibaya Hillary Official: Cunha Mario

Tennis: Dzenga Nicole, Lock Courtney Official: Nyamunokora Freeman

Triathlon: Benade Gideon, Davidson Skye, Rendell Serena, Williams Drew , Official: Davidson Wayne Rugby: Gambiza Charles, Katsvere Shingirai, Makoni Jeff, Matoramusha Tatenda, Mazambani Munyaradzi ,Moses Tristan, Mudzengerere Ernest, Ndoro Kudakwashe, Pritchard Connor, Snater Shane, Theofilatos Adam , Ushewokunze Matthew, Officials: Hondo Daniel, Made Sifiso

Netball: Bwanali Sharon, Chiwenga Chido, Dani Haji Salma, Makhalima Nomagugu, Marara Melissa, Mawira Takudzwa, Mpanduki Fiona, Muhwira Ropafadzo, Mukwadi Mercy, Mutambu Lisa, Muzanenamo Michelle, Tanhira Lynette Officials: Chipandu Letitia, Mutsauki Ropafadzo

Source : The Herald

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