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THE athletics family were plunged into mourning on Thursday after seasoned wheelchair runner Dorcas Hwatira was hit by a car and died while practising in South Africa. Hwatira had gone for the Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge scheduled for today but was knocked down by a car on Thursday morning. She was hit while practising in the vicinity of Lavalia for today’s event while her fellow teammate, Thandiwe Ndlovu – who was with her at the time of the accident – was unharmed.

The 40-year-old Hwatira was part of a 10-member team made up of captain Edmund Makutya, Elford Moyo, Wilson Nyakoko, Samson Muroiwa, Margaret Bangajena, Thandiwe Ndlovu, Magadalene Madzivire, Moleen Majoni and Alexander Mkandla that was set to represent Zimbabwe in today’s race. Harare Athletics Board secretary-general Sailus Muringani said Hwatira’s death as a big loss to the athletics family.

“Dorcas was a pillar of strength for women. She has been participating in most of our events, particularly the Westgate Half Marathon, she has never missed an event.

“We offer our condolences as Harare Athletics Board. We are very sorry to the family, husband, the children and wheelchair racing family,” said Muringani.

Wheelchair Tennis Association of Zimbabwe vice-president Olga Chisango said they were shocked by the sad news.

“Dorcas was one of the few really successful female wheelchair tennis players, though she also excelled in wheelchair racing.

“It is a loss to the sporting fraternity in general and to wheelchair tennis in particular, where there is a shortage of lady players.

“May her dear soul rest in peace,” said Chisango.

Source : The Herald