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ZIMBABWE will send two teams to the International Handball Federation Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy tournament in Lusaka, Zambia, later this year. This year’s IHF Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy tournament is set to run from August 30 to September 6 in Lusaka and Amon Madzvamuse, the president of the Zimbabwe Handball Federation, said yesterday that they will be sending a men’s and a women’s team to this event which is expected to attract all the handball-playing nations in the Southern African region.

“The dates for the 2014 IHF Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy have now been set and the tournament will run from August 30 to September 6 in Lusaka, Zambia, and we are glad to announce that we, Zimbabwe, will be sending two teams to this tournament.

“We will be sending a men’s and a women’s team there, and we are likely to retain most of the coaches who helped us to return home with a bronze medal at the last IHF Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy tournament which was held in March 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa,” Madzvamuse said.

At the last IHF Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy in Johannesburg in 2012, the Zimbabwe men’s Under-20 side was under the guidance of Allan Mandeya and Farayi Gwisayi while Tawanda Mapira and Clemence Tauro were in charge of the women’s team.

But Madzvamuse said yesterday that seasoned Mutare-based coach Mandeya was unlikely to be retained as the head coach of the men’s Under-20 team for the Lusaka tournament as he is now the chairperson of the ZHF Coaches Commission.

“In fact, Mandeya is going to be replaced by another coach whom we have already identified but will be named just before the two teams go into camp to start their preparations for this tournament in August,” Madzvamuse said.

The ZHF boss said the teams for this year’s IHF Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy tournament would go into camp early in order for them to be adequately prepared for this event where they are aiming to win a gold medal.

“This time around we will have enough time to do our camping before the tournament because we would like to surprise the whole region in Lusaka where we will be gunning for nothing short of a gold medal.

“And as the president of the ZHF, I’m running around trying to raise the necessary resources and coming up with our strategic position to make sure that the two teams are well catered for and will have prepared properly by the time they leave for Lusaka towards the end of August,” Madzvamuse said.

“In fact, I’m quite happy that most of the players that are likely to be part of Team Zimbabwe for Zambia are currently playing in our Handball Premier League, which recently got underway, and they will be very active by the time we leave for Lusaka to compete in the IHF Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy tournament,” Madzvamuse said.

At the last IHF Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy in Johannesburg in March 2012, both the Zimbabwe men’s and women’s sides managed to reach the semi-finals where they lost to Mozambique.

But this helped Zimbabwe to emerge as the third-best country at that tournament where their men’s and women’s teams walked away with bronze medals.

The last IHF Zone Six Under-20 Challenge Trophy tournament in Johannesburg attracted six countries – Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the hosts South Africa – but Madzvamuse said they were likely to have two “newcomers” at this year’s event in Lusaka namely Swaziland and Botswana.

“As the vice-president of the Zone Six Handball Federation, I am making sure that these two countries – Swaziland and Botswana – will come and compete at this tournament because they come under my portfolio,” Madzvamuse said.

Source : The Herald

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