It will be all systems go for local athletes when they battle against their regional counterparts in the Confederation of African Athletics Southern Region Youth Championships which take place at the National Sports Stadium today.
Athletes from Angola, Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles and Zambia are expected to feature in the championships.
Three countries, namely Lesotho, Madagascar and Comoros, withdrew from the event yesterday because of financial constraints. National Athletics’ Association of Zimbabwe president Joseph Mungwari confirmed the last minute withdrawals, but said he was confident the one-day event would be a success.
“Yes, Madagascar, Comoros and Lesotho have indicated to us that they will no longer be sending athletes for the championships.
“Despite withdrawals, we still expect a high turnout as all the other countries are still coming. Athletes from Botswana are already on the border while those from Angola, Namibia and South Africa have also indicated that they will be coming today (yesterday). The rest of the teams should be in the country today ahead of the start tomorrow,” said Mungwari.
Zimbabwe, who will be hoping for a good perfomance on home soil, will field 40 athletes for the various track and field events in the championships.
The team which is comprised of 20 boys and 20 girls will be coached by Phakamile Lisimati.
Boys: Michael Songore, Worship Matongo, Mondli Ndlovu, Takudzwa Mayizha, Tamiriraishe Nkomo, Nyasha Chakudzwa, Daniel Ncube, Casper Kokera, Michael Grottis, Charlton Ndlovu, Guide Mwanza, Rodney Nhau, Anesu Shingi, Tapiwa Muringani, Brandon Mandivenga, Leona Fusire, Tonderai Mandibvisa, Takudzwa Muchichwa.
Girls: Tsitsi Mahachi, Catherine Makaya, Lisa Tonderai, Lisa Siziba, Beauty Chikuni, Anna Bungu, Caroline Mhandu, Thandeka Malinga, Nonhlanhla Vela, Essenia Mudenda, Rowa Maphani, Nyasha Nyathi, Grace Mvura, Nyasha Jumbo, Wayne Mutokonyi, Mazvida Mitsi, Buhle Geza, Yvonne Chinamo, Gladys Nyakakwe.