ORGANISERS of the Simon Muzenda Gutu Half Marathon say this year’s event set for November 30 will for the first time include the wheelchair category.
RONALD MOYO,SPORTS REPORTER
Masvingo Athletics Board (MAB) chairperson Titus Madzingo said sponsors of the marathon had approached them about introducing the wheelchair category for the first time in the race.
“The sponsors approached us and said they would also like to sponsor the wheelchair category in this year’s edition, we are still waiting for their final confirmation. This will be a good development in the marathon that celebrates the life of the late Vice-President, hopefully nothing will hold them from doing that. We are going to keep wheelchair athletes updated on the latest developments,” Madzingo said.
Wheelchair athletes felt excluded and marginalised as the race previously did not cater for them.
In an earlier interview with our Bulawayo Bureau at the inaugural Joshua Nkomo Half Marathon, the winner of men’s wheelchair category Melford Moyo challenged the organisers of the Gutu half marathon to introduce wheel chair category.
Madzingo also said registration for the marathon would be done a day before the event.
“Registration will be done on November 29. The exercise will start at 8:00 am. Only athletes above the age of 20 years will compete in the 21-kilometre race, there is 10-kilometres for the juniors, while the cadets (athletes under the age of 15) will run five kilometres”
The marathon was initially set for October, but was postponed November following reports that the family members of the late Vice-President were not comfortable with the dates.
Wirimai Juwawo won last year men’s category jumping the finishing line in one hour two minutes.
Juwawo has an uphill task to defend his title as Blanket Mine Athletics Club’s Nkosiyazi Sibanda and Black Rhinos Athletics Club’s duo of Andrew Chimbidzikai and Simbarashe Chikadaga are all in good form.
Sibanda won the Joshua Nkomo Half Marathon while Chimbidzikai and Chikadaga were winners of the Masiyephambili 42 and 21 kilometre races respectively.