HomeSportAthleticsMuzhingi tops in regional competitions

Muzhingi tops in regional competitions

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Two times Comrades Marathon winner Stephen Muzhingi was the biggest victor of all Zimbabweans in regional competitions in 2010 after successfully defending his title in May.

Muzhingi, who cruised home in a time of 5:29, was the only Zimbabwean male to finish among the first 10, in the event that was otherwise dominated by the host country’s athletes.

The 34-year-old Zimbabwean, who won the same event last year, after clocking 05:23:27, also became one of the few men to successfully defend the first position.

Muzhingi, with sunglasses perched on his forehead, stuck with the leading pack from the start of the race, where he anchored the first 10 men leaderboard where fellow Zimbabwean, Michael Chidodo set the pace to the halfway mark to claim the Cash Hot Spot of R12 000.

Muzhingi, who was one of the 78 Zimbabwean runners taking part in this 85th edition of the annual event, said after the race that he felt the pressure of being the defending champion this year.

“It was like everyone was targeting me for just being the defending champion of the race,” said the Zimbabwean.

“There were these two guys who stuck by me for the better part of the last stage and they gave me hell. They increased the pace with me when I did so and decreased when I decreased mine and it gave me quite big pressure to try and break away from them, but I am happy that I finally managed to leave them behind and eventually win the race.”

Muzhingi’s triumph atoned for the NedBank Two Oceans Marathon, where he finished in fourth position in April this year.

Football

Once again, Dynamos reached the mini-league phase of the CAF Orange Champions League, although they only managed to win one match from the six Group A matches they played.

They lost 2-0 and 2-1 to eventual champions, Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe, 1-0 twice to Tunisian giants Esperance and 3-0 to Entente Setif of Algeria. They beat the Algerians 1-0 at home. In the six matches, they scored twice through Wonder Sithole and Thabani Kamusoko.

The other representative in the Champions League and 2009 champions Gunners beat Mafunzo of Zanzibar 6-1 on aggregate in the preliminary rounds before posting their biggest result ever in their debut, defeating Egyptian giants Al Ahly 1-0 in the first round, first leg. But they lost 2-0 away in the second leg to bow out of the competition.

In the Confederation Cup, Caps United ran through Mbabane Highlanders 8-7 on penalties after the two legs had ended 1-1 on aggregate, where big goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda was the hero.

In the first round proper, Caps United met former South African giants Moroka Swallows whom they beat 2-1 on aggregate to set up a date with Nigeria side Warri Wolves. Led by now Mamelodi Sundowns hitman, Nyasha Mushekwi, Caps stunned the West Africans 3-2 on aggregate.

But they met their match in Sudanese giants, Edward Sadomba’s Al Hilal, who whipped them 8-1 on aggregate to bid farewell to the competition.

Lengthens were in the competition by virtue of having won the BancABC Super Eight Cup and got off to a resounding start in the competition when they defeated AS Dema of Madagascar 2-1 in the preliminary round before bowing out 5-1 on aggregate to Simba Stars of Tanzania.

The Cosafa Senior Challenge was postponed to next year after hosts Angola said they were not ready. Zimbabwe are the defending champions and would have been given an opportunity to fine-tune a team of local players for the African Nations Championships (Chan).

The Warriors, under Norman Mapeza, beat Seychelles to qualify for the second edition of Chan set for Sudan from February 4-18.

The Young Warriors, led by Monomotapa coach Taurai Mangwiro, won a bronze medal at the Under 20 championships held in Gaborone, Botswana, in early December. They lost 1-0 to eventual champions Zambia in the semi-finals before beating Madagascar 3-1 for the bronze.

There was no invitation for the Warriors for the Cecafa Senior Challenge this time around following revelations that Zimbabwean officials, playersand coaches were involved in match-fixing scandals in Asia from 2007.

The Warriors took part in the competition last year after winning the Cosafa Senior Challenge and there were allegations that some coaches were allegedly approached by illegal betting syndicates to throw some of the games.

Golf
Tongoona Charamba met stiff competition in the South Africa Golf Open championship, finishing in 74th position at the Pearl Valley Golf Estates, Paarl, Western Cape.

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