Dzingai aims for Olympic last dance


Top Zimbabwe sprinter Brian Dzingai, who is still trying to rediscover his best form after recovering from an injury which kept him out of the track for the better part of last season, is back in training and still hopeful of qualifying for the London Olympic Games.

The London Games will run from July 27 to August 12 this year.

The diminutive US-based sprinter, who turns 31 in April, has struggled over the last two seasons with a recurring back injury, but is determined to have at least one more dance at the world’s biggest sporting showcase.

Dzingai, who is undoubtedly one of the country’s most accomplished sprinters, missed out on the IAAF World Athletics Championships in South Korea as well as the All-Africa Games in Mozambique in 2011.

However in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Dzingai confirmed that he was back in training.

“Yes, I am looking forward to the next Olympic Games,” Dzingai said. “At the moment, I’m just training hard trying to stay off the radar so that I prepare myself. I’ll give it my best and hopefully I will be able to qualify for the London Olympics,” said Dzingai.

Dzingai was the flag-bearer for Team Zimbabwean in Beijing, China four years ago and went on to miss out on a bronze medal by mere second after finishing fourth in the men’s 200 metres final.

Running in a strong field led by tearaway Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, Dzingai ran a time of 20,22 seconds which initially placed him unofficially in sixth place. Bolt shattered the world record, stretching away comfortably to win that race.

However, due to the disqualification of Dutchman Churandy Martina and American Wallace Spearman, Dzingai moved up to the fourth place overall, missing out on a bronze medal by 0,24 seconds.

For Dzingai to qualify for 200 metres at the London Olympic Games he has to run an A standard qualifying time of 20,55 seconds or a B standard time of 20,65 seconds.

However he will have to work very hard as both times fall way short of his season best of 20,72 he ran last June at the Rabat Meeting International Mohammed VI in Morocco.

Meanwhile, as Team Zimbabwe begins to take shape, at this stage five athletes have already qualified for the London Games.

Track and field star Ngonidzashe Makusha has qualified for the long jump event and is also still eyeing a place in the 100m dash and together with star swimmer Kirsty Coventry they will be the favourites to win some medals.

Experienced long-distance runner Cuthbert Nyasango who will take part in the men’s marathon and rowers Micheen Thornycroft and Jamie Fraser Mckenzie complete the list of athletes who have qualified for the games so far.