Zimbabwe will have limited representation at this year’s International Association of Athletics Federation World Cross-Country Championships set for Poland this month with only Olivia Chitate making the trip due to the unavailability of funds at National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ).
The battle-hardened Chitate performed relatively well at the recently held Southern Region Cross-Country meet in Lesotho after clocking 31min 12,57sec in the senior women’s 8km category behind Namibian winner Lavinia Haitope, who hit the ribbon on 31min 07,50sec.
Chitate had done well at the NAAZ national cross-country event that was held in Kwekwe last month after coming first on 31min 02,32sec.
In an interview yesterday with NewsDay Sport, NAAZ president Tendai Tagara said Chitate is an experienced athlete who has seen it all in international athletics.
He added that they would have liked to send more athletes had it not been for financial constraints.
“It’s very unfortunate that the country will be represented by one athlete Olivia Chitate in the senior women’s 8km category. The major reason why we are sending one athlete is because of lack financial resources,” he said.
“We would have liked to send as many athletes as was possible, but if there is a chance, that may change if we get funding on time. Olivia is a seasoned athlete who has competed in various races, especially in South Africa, and this is why she performed relatively well in Lesotho.”