HomeSport2014: Ups, downs and tragedies of the year

2014: Ups, downs and tragedies of the year

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THE 2014 sporting year has ended and today we take a look at significant achievements, good, bad and ugly, of some of Zimbabwe’s sportspersons and teams.

WELLINGTON TONI
SPORTS EDITOR

FOOTBALL
The Warriors started the year on a high, reaching the semi-finals of the Chan finals in South Africa before falling to eventual winners Libya.

Then it was expected that they would steam-roll their way into the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals that start in Equatorial Guinea on January 17.

But alas, they fell at the first hurdle — losing 1-0 to Tanzania away and then, disappointingly drawing 2-2 at home against the Taifa Stars to bow out.

Coach Ian Gorowa quit the Warriors after that failure. The Warriors were disbanded and some animal called “rebuilding” was sold to us with Kalisto Pasuwa in charge. They have played three friendlies already and will take part in the Olympic and All Africa Games qualifiers next year.

Dynamos
Dynamos won the league title on the last day of the season, beating How Mine 2-0 at the National Sports Stadium on the same day that second-placed ZPC Kariba fell 3-2 to Caps United across town in Gwanzura.

But as Dynamos were celebrating, coach Kalisto Pasuwa announced he was done with the league champions.

He has been replaced by David Mandigora and Tonderayi Ndiraya.
Ndiraya was once Pasuwa’s assistant and bounces back in the same capacity.

For the record, Dynamos won all cup competitions they contested against Highlanders — Bob90, Independence Trophy, TM Pick n Pay Challenge and the Gushungo Victory Cup.

They did not win a tournament where four or more teams took part — the One Wallet Cup as they fell on penalties to Triangle in the final, the Chibuku Super Cup where they were booted out by Black Rhinos and Independence Trophy.

FC Platinum won the Chibuku Super Cup and with it, the right to represent Zimbabwe in the Caf Confederation Cup next season.

Platinum also won the Independence Trophy, CG Msipa Charity Shield and the ZNA Commander’s Shield.

No Champions League for Zimbabwe
Dynamos pulled out of the Caf Champions League due to lack of financial resources.

After letting Pasuwa go, the worst decision the Dynamos leadership, under Keni Mubaiwa, was to pull out of Africa’s premier club competition and hope to return in 2016, if they win the league next season.

Dynamos have always participated in the Champions League with or without sponsorship and their fans and corporates have always supported them on this. 2015 was going to be no different.

Dynamos have no salary issues to worry about since these are covered by their sponsorship from BancABC.

After winning so many cup competitions and pulling in more than $200 000 in cup and league prize money, they had to go to Africa.
For many a journalist, January to March is normally for Dynamos in the CL and with a bit of some luck, deep into the group stages.

2014 Soccer Stars — Dennis Dauda, first runner-up Tendai Hove, second runner-up Limited Chikafa, Coach of the Year Saul Chaminuka (all from ZPC Kariba).

Well, this caused some controversy from some quarters who felt that outgoing Dynamos coach Pasuwa should have grabbed the Coach of the Year award after winning the league title for the fourth time in a row.

No local coach has achieved that as this is a benchmark that will stand for years to come.

But in the last few years, there have been a trend to award those that ended the season empty-handed: Tennant Chilumba was named the best in 2012 when Hwange finished fourth and in 2013, Bigboy Mawiwi got the top accolade when Harare City finished empty-handed on third place.

Dauda deserved the accolade, far much better than Tawanda Muparati in 2013, but then Hove and Chikafa’s walk to the podium, also shocked the wits out of this football loving nation.

More shocks were to come-Charles Sibanda and Kuda Musharu shared the Golden Boot award with 12 goals apiece.

But it is a fact, and it remains so, that Sibanda scored 13 and not 12 goals.

CRICKET
Peter Chingoka left Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) in July and was replaced by Wilson Manase.

Ozias Bvute, who had left the organisation 24 months ago, is now an advisor to ZC.

Zimbabwe beat Australia for the first time in 31 years, remarkably under the first black coach Stephen Mangongo.

But after an 8-0 drubbing by Bangladesh away, he was fired and has been replaced by Dav Whatmore.

With everybody getting tired of Zifa property being auctioned for various debts, this time it was ZC, for a change.

Last week, the deputy sheriff impounded its outside broadcast van, as well as vehicles used by managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa and selector Givemore Makoni.

According to the Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe, Sale-in Execution the property was to be held in the capital on December 27.
“Duly instructed by the Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe, we shall sell by public

auction, the following vehicles to the highest bidder at 709
Midlands Close, Waterfalls, Harare on Saturday, 27th December 2014 at 10am.

“Andrew Muzamhindo vs Zimbabwe Cricket, Case No HC5478/09 Ref: Case No HC 414/14, 16 digital camera outside broadcasting van, Scania 93 truck — Reg No AAN 2398, Mazda BT50-Reg No ABK 3164, Nissan Navara- Reg No ABP 0965, Mazda BT50-Reg No ABK 305,” read part of the sale-in execution.”

WOMEN CRICKET
In women cricket, the national team qualified for the second round of the ICC Pepsi Africa Women’s Trophy qualifiers set for Thailand next July.

RUGBY
Zimbabwe missed out on automatic qualification for next year’s 2015 Rugby World Cup to Namibia on points difference despite a 28-10 win over the reigning African champions Kenya during the last round of the qualifiers in Antananarivo, Madagascar, in July.

They had a chance to qualify via a play-off if they beat Russia, but they lost the match in Siberia.

There was also no joy for the national Sevens rugby team, the Cheetahs as they yet again failed to secure core status on the lucrative HSBC World Sevens Series circuit.

AFRICA UNION SPORTS COUNCIL REGION FIVE GAMES

Bulawayo hosted the Region Five Games from December 4-16.

The games saw refurbishment of Barbourfields Stadium, Luveve, which has now been certified to host Caf matches, and White City Stadium, which now has a tartan track.

The Courts for the Disabled where basketball was played were refurbished as well as the City Pool, giving it an international appeal.

On the field, Zimbabwe played second fiddle to regional sports powerhouse South Africa, winning 93 medals. Zimbabwe managed 18 gold and these high performing athletes were awarded with $300 each.

Silver medallists got $200, while the bronze winners got $100.
South Africa won 121 medals in total to secure the Region V bragging rights ahead of the hosts.

Third-placed Angola, who will host the next games in 2016, had 20 medals in the regional sporting showcase.

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