Makusha missed out on All-Africa Games after taxing season

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Zimbabwe track and field star Ngonidzashe Makusha missed the 10th All-Africa Games in Mozambique, because of fatigue after a taxing season on the professional circuit, his Dutch agent Caroline Feith of Pro Sports International BV clarified on Wednesday.

Feith told NewsDay Sport from her base in the Netherlands that International Amateur Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Championships long jump bronze medalist had plans to compete at the continental Games but realised he risked getting injured ahead of next year’s Olympics.

“Not going to the All-Africa Games was a difficult decision Makusha had to make. His 2010/2011 season had been very long.

“Competing for months in a row at the highest international level is not easy, but with Makusha’s hard work it resulted in running the 100m in 9,89secs, jumping 8,40m and getting the bronze medal at the World Championships.

“This takes a toll on the body and injuries were around the corner. In order to be able to be ready for the 2012 Olympics he had to rest and make sure he gave his body time to heal.

“His build-up for 2012 will start soon and the main goal for next season is to stay healthy and be ready for the Olympics and hopefully bring back to Zimbabwe track and field Olympic medals,” said Feith.

Makusha’s bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea was Zimbabwe’s first-ever medal at that level and he also went on to reach the semi-finals 100 metres.

He was expected to head straight for Mozambique for the All-Africa Games, but pulled out of the continental championships at the eleventh hour.

Feith, who has worked with top athletes like three-time World Champion Dwight Phillips said she was confident Makusha would make an impact at the London Olympic next year.

“The fact that Makusha was able to compete with the best of the world in Daegu and came home with a bronze medal shows the class and level is on now despite being very young.

“With hard work and good planning for a new season build-up, I foresee more for him in the future especially 2012 and beyond,” she said.

Pro Sports International, where Feith is director, is an official IAAF licensed athletics representative company working exclusively with international elite track and field athletes and other Zimbabwean athletes like Brian Dzingai and Lewis Banda.

“Pro Sports International takes care of all relations between athletes and competitions organisations. We inform athletes and their coaches of dates and events of certain competitions and when the athletes indicate where they want to compete, we take care of that,” said Feith.

Makusha signed for Pro Sports International BV soon after turning professional early this year in June after he won both 100m and long jump titles at the National Collegiate Athletics Association outdoor track and field championships in the US.

He became just the fourth person to ever win both the 100m dash and long jump, joining legends Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and DeHart Hubbard.

His national 100m record, which stands at 9,89secs, is the fourth fastest 100m time ever run by an African, after Frankie Fredericks of Namibia (9,86secs), Olusoji Fasuba of Nigeria (9,85secs) and Francis Obikwelu (9,86secs), a Nigerian who is now a Portuguese citizen.