Makusha leaps into 2012 Olympics

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Olympic medal hopeful and Zimbabwean long jumper, Ngonidzashe Makusha has become the first Zimbabwean athlete to book a ticket to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Zimbabwe Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer, Robert Mutsauki revealed that they had picked Makusha as they considered him to be one of Zimbabwe’s brightest medal prospects at the global sports festival.

Makusha has now been placed on an Olympic sponsorship. The sponsorship is awarded to athletes identified to represent their country at the Olympic Games.

It is a financial package supplied by the International Olympic Committee to cover the athlete’s training programme and to enable him to participate in high level competitions like the World Championships.

“We want to ensure that he gets the adequate preparation so that he is in the right frame of mind when he participates at the London Olympics because, as you are aware, medals are not won by accident. You invest in them and that is what we are doing with Makusha,” said Mutsauki.

Olympic swimming champion Kirsty Coventry, sprinters Brian Dzingai and Lewis Banda are other Zimbabweans who have benefitted from the Olympic sponsorship.

Coventry, Zimbabwe’s Olympic Gold medal swimmer, now based in South Africa, recently said she would be available for the 2012 Games, but would participate in fewer events.

Twenty-three year old Makusha studies at the Florida State University in the United States of America where he is on a four year athletics scholarship .

He missed out on a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 by just a centimetre after posting 8,19 metres, against 8,20 for third placed Godfrey Khosto Mokoena of South Africa.

Mutsauki said they had spoken to Makusha who has pledged his committment to jump for Zimbabwe.

Makusha grabbed headlines in the USA over the weekend when he recorded the eighth best jump of the 2010 season during the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas.