Long jumper Chifausipo shines in US


Little known United States-based long jumper Clive Chifausipo could become the next Zimbabwean long jumper to make a major breakthrough after impressing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Games this weekend.

Crack Zimbabwean long jumper Ngonidzashe Makusha stole the limelight last year while at Florida State University on his way to becoming the first African athlete to win the prestigious Bowerman Award in the US in recognition of his success in track and field events for his college.

This seems to have inspired Chifausipo, who is on an athletics scholarship at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Chiredzi-born long jumper came in sixth in the long jump at the NCAA 2012 Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Canyon County, Idaho, on Friday.

According to the university’s official website, Chifausipo and Jack Whitt finished third in the pole vault and were the institution’s most outstanding athletes.

“Whitt jumped 18’ 0’ to repeat his third place performance from last year’s indoor championships. The height will earn him first team all-American honours for a third consecutive year, making him the first three-time Indoor All-American in summit league history.

“Chifausipo, the two-time defending Summit League champion, also earned first team all-American honours for the first time in his career with his jump of 25’ 7”.

“Whitt was the runner-up in the 2011 Outdoor National Championships, and Chifausipo earned second team all-American honours.

“The outdoor season begins for Oral Roberts University on March 24 when they travel to El Paso, Texas, for the UTEP Springtime Classic,” reads the statement on the college’s website.
Chifausipo, the former South Eastern College student lived in Chiredzi before he was spotted by World Wide Scholarships, who assisted him get a scholarship in the US.

Paul Madzivire, who is on an athletics scholarship at Florida State University, is another Zimbabwean long jumper who has been on a steady rise in the US.

The former Gateway student recently won long jump title at the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships at Boston in Massachusetts, US.