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NAAZ asks athletes to pay own airfares


The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) is appealing for funds to send three junior athletes from Matabeleland South to represent the country in the World Junior Championships set for Barcelona, Spain, next month.

Promising Zimbabwe junior athletes Dumisani Bhebhe, Michael Mlambo and Khuphukile Chilufya require $1 700 each for air fares to Spain and NAAZ wants the provincial board to fork out the air fares.

In a letter addressed to Matabeleland South chairperson Phakamile Lisimati NAAZ president Joseph Mungwari said: “I am pleased that the following athletes from your provincial board have reached set qualifying standards which will enable them to represent Zimbabwe in the World Junior Championships taking place in Barcelona, Spain, between the 10th and 15th July.

“The association is therefore appealing for assistance in securing air fares to and from Spain (Economy Class) from Harare to Barcelona-return.
The association will pay for food and lodging for the period the athletes are in Spain. The cost of the air ticket is $1 700 for your consideration.

“We look forward to your support so as to enable the athletes to take this national duty,” said Mungwari.

Bhebhe qualified for the 100m and 200m in the Southern Region Junior Championship Track and Field events held in Windhoek, Namibia, in April.

He clocked 10,59secs in the 100m race to beat the qualifying time of 10,64secs.

Bhebhe finished the 200m race in a time of 21,24secs while fellow Zimbabwe sprinter Tinashe Mutanga who also qualified for the World Junior Championship won silver in
21,20secs beating the qualifying time of 21,55secs in the boys section.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday Mungwari said: “We had to consider Chilufya and Mlambo although they did not get the electronic times in Namibia. The two were fast enough for consideration because of their performances in the World Athletics Day in Gwanda and the national track and field championships held in Bulawayo,” he said.

Chilufya and Mlambo will join Bhebhe and Mutanga for the 4x100m relay in Spain. Midlands athlete Sithulisiwe Zhou is also on the travelling list to Spain.

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