A nine-member Zimbabwean team today left the country to participate in the Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge (OWC) in George, South Africa.
The growing annual event, presented by Vodacom and Airports Company South Africa, will take place on Saturday
Athletes will be competing for prize money of R244 000 in 42 categories over three distances – a 42,2km full marathon and a 21,1 km half-marathon for athletes using racing wheelchairs or hand cycles, as well as a 10km distance, which also allows basketball chairs and ordinary wheelchairs.
There is also a popular fun event for people with disability of all age groups who take part with a helper.
Effort Moyo, Edmund Makutya and Alexandre Mukazha will participate in the man’s full marathon race while Medellin Madzivire, Magaret Bangajena, Morleen Majoni and Docar Rwatira will battle it in the women-marathon category.
Custom Mutwira will take part in the 21 hand cycling category while Wilson Nyakoko will defend his title in the half marathon category.
Speaking to NewsDay, Nyakoko said all the athletes are looking forward to the race.
“Our aim is to do the best. We want to raise the country’s flag high,” said Nyakoko.
Nyakoko said despite all the problems that they are facing, including a mere recognition of the sport in Zimbabwe, they still want to excel for the country.
“We don’t have resources. We are also not getting enough support from the corporate world. But the biggest problem we face as wheelchair athletes is recognition, we are not recognised at all in this country,” complained Nyakoko.