THE national wheelchair racing team left for South Africa yesterday to take part in the Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge (OCC) in George at the weekend.
The OCC, which is South Africa’s only major wheelchair event, will take place on Saturday.
Boasting more than 1 000 athletes from Africa and overseas, the OCC race incorporates the marathon, half-marathon, 10km race and a fun race.
A team of nine athletes accompanied by their manager Christopher Katore, left Harare by bus early in the morning and are expected to arrive in George tomorrow after a brief stopover in Johannesburg today.
The nine, who will be looking to make the country proud are Dorcas Hwatira, Wilson Nyakoko, Samson Muroiwa, Margaret Bangajena, Thandiwe Ndlovu, Magdalene Madzivire, Moleen Majoni, Elford Moyo and Edmund Mukutya. Muroiwa and Ndlovu were drafted into the team as replacements for Alexander Mkandla and Caston Mutwira who could not make the trip due to “personal commitments”.
Katore was full of confidence that his team would triumph.
“For the past three years we have been getting gold medals in this race and I don’t think it will be any different this year,” said Katore said yesterday.
The team received a major boost ahead of the event when a number of companies and individuals donated goods and cash during a sendoff ceremony held in Harare on Monday. Some of the goods donated include tyres and tubes for the wheelchairs, tracksuits and T-shirts. The Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge was introduced in 2002 and attracts athletes with physical disabilities from across the globe.