NATIONAL Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) president Tendai Tagara has commended clubs for a fruitful 2013 season saying that it was one of the best seasons so far.
Tagara said it was the commitment of the associations at a provincial level, the national association and athletics clubs that made it possible for the country to participate in all major competitions.
“We managed to participate in all major competitions which is good and reflects commitment by the associations, clubs and the athletes themselves. I think this is one of the most successful years in terms of athletics.
“We sent athletes to Poland for World Cross-country, took part in the Africa Juniors Championships in Mauritius, Africa Championships in Nigeria, participated in the World Youth Championships in Ukraine among others. Even the number of athletes sent out to these competitions improved compared to last year,” Tagara said.
Locally, various sponsored marathons took place, mainly the Old Mutual series, the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Marathon, Econet Victoria Falls Marathon, whose preparations for the 2014 edition have already started, the Simon Muzenda Gutu Marathon and the Choppies Half Marathon.
The Gutu Marathon even had a Mercedes Benz as a prize for the winner who would have run the 21-km race in 48 minutes or less, although this was clearly impossible.
Tagara also added that Zimbabwe has also produced young talented athletes in the process.
“The country is managing to produce good athletes because of the number of competitions we are getting involved in. We are proud of Francis Zimwaro who is now based in Mauritius on a scholarship, he is 23 years old which is good considering his age,” he alluded.
One of the notable successful young athletes is Townsend High School’s 16-year-old Yvonne Vanhuvaone who attained 15 gold, six silver and three bronze medals in all of her competitions being the most successful young athlete in Bulawayo.
Tagara who is also deputy director of sports in the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture refused to comment the possible conflict of interest between his two offices.
“I only comment about athletics and I am not in a position to comment on anything else,” he said.