ZIMBABWEAN Youth Olympian Enlitha Ncube has qualified for the IAAF World Youth Championships to be held in Colombia next year after meeting the qualifying standards at the African Union Sports Council Under-20 Youth Games held in Bulawayo recently.
Ncube, who in August took part at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, earned her ticket to the global athletics event after finishing second in the women’s 800m final in two minutes 12,76 seconds.
The 16-year-old rising middle distance runner’s time was quicker that the IAAF World Youth Championships qualifying time of two minutes 2,14 seconds approved by the IAAF in July.
Another Zimbabwean 800m runner Maryjoy Mudyiravanji, who won the gold medal after finishing the race in two minutes 12,17 seconds, however, does not qualify because of her age.
National athletics coach Lisimati Phakamile confirmed that only one athlete from Team Zimbabwe at the games qualified for the Youth Championships as the rest would be over age.
“Enlitha Ncube, who ran in the 800m and 1 500m events, is the one that qualifies for the World Youth Championships next year. Almost all the athletes who competed would be over age by the time the Championships start. We have the African Youth Championships and World Junior Championships,” he said.
Phakamile said triple jumper Brian Mada, who had an impressive leap of 15,6m on his way to winning gold, will not be eligible to compete at the World Youth Championships.
The St Faith’s Mission student, however, qualifies for the 11th African Games scheduled for September 4–19 in Brazzaville, Congo, next year.
“Brian Mada’s jump is good enough for the All Africa Games as a junior. By next year, he will no longer compete in the Youth championships, but will have to compete in the Junior Championships. The World Junior Championships are held biannually.”