Zimbabwe’s track and field star Ngonidzashe Makusha says he is confident of doing well at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The 24-year-old national record holder in both the long jump and the 100-metre events has already qualified for London 2012 in long jump and is still pursuing a 10m sprint qualification.
Other local athletes who have already qualified for the Olympics include include seven-time Olympic medallist Kirsty Coventry, athlete Cuthbert Nyasango and rowers Jaime Frazer-Mackenzie and Micheen Thornicroft.
“After what I managed to achieve last season, I’m very optimistic that I’ll do well at the Games.
“The exposure that I gained at the World Championships showed me that I can compete against anyone in the world, including the world’s best athletes.
My main goal now is just to continue working hard and getting the right preparation before the games, hopefully staying fit and avoiding injuries,” said Makusha.
Makusha won Zimbabwe’s first-ever medal at the IAAF World Athletics Championships, winning a bronze medal in the long jump event in Daegu, South Korea, in September.
During the past athletics season, Makusha was ranked the ninth-best 100-metre sprinter in the world and is the only athlete from Africa ranked in this year’s top 10.
He has been on a week-long visit in the country to promote the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee’s London 2012 Olympic Games fundraising campaign dubbed “Going for Gold”.
The programme involves events and programmes to raise awareness and resources for Team Zimbabwe for the games and this week he took his time to visit his former schools, Mandedza High and Churchill Boys’ High.
Makusha is on an athletics scholarship at Florida State University in the US where he will be graduating with a degree in Applied Economics in three weeks.
The talented long jumper-cum-sprinter said he was looking forward to representing Zimbabwe at the Indoor World Championships set for March next year and the IAAF Diamond League events.
Makusha also cleared the air on why he did not participate at this year’s All-Africa Games held in Maputo, Mozambique, which led to his disqualification for the Annual National Sports Awards.
“I’m sorry I could not make it to the All-Africa Games. Even though I have turned professional, I’m still a student at Florida State University on a strict student visa that has limits on the amount of time I can spend out of the country.
“I was bound by those regulations and was coming from a long and challenging three-week tour of duty in Daegu, South Korea,” said Makusha.