THE stage is set for the $16 000 Tanganda 21km half-marathon race with an array of Zimbabwe’s top athletes set to compete in the prestigious event this Saturday in Mutare.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Among the athletes is last year’s winner in the male category Elijah Mabhunu, Cuthbert Nyasango, Wirimayi Juwawo, Lyno Muchena and Millen Matende.
In the female category, Constance Nyasango has already expressed optimism of defending her title, but is set to face stiff challenge from her brother’s wife and close friend, Faith.
Constance hit the ribbon first on 1 hour 18 minutes and two seconds, narrowly beating Olivia Chitate who completed the race 18 seconds behind, while South Africa-based Rutendo Nyahora came third.
Both Nyahora and Chitate are set to compete in the tournament and they have proved over the years that they are no pushovers.
The winner in both the 21km female and male category will walk home with $550.
An additional $100 is on offer for athletes who are going to beat last years’ time in both female and male category.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Manicaland Athletics board chairman Joshua Matume said they were expecting 500 athletes to take part in the race.
“Our registration will be on this Friday at Meikles Park in Mutare and Tanganda premises. But we have top athletes who have already confirmed to take part in the race. This is a big tournament that normally attracts top stars,” Matume said.
“Students from tertiary institutions are set to spice up the tournament as they have their own category, while schools will send their students for this tournament. We also have a veteran race for people aged 40-49 and a 21km wheelchair race.”