Zimbabwean athletes off to Beijing for IAAF World Senior Champs

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ZIMBABWE long-distance runners left the country yesterday for the 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Senior Championships to be held in Beijing,
China.

BY GRACE CHIRANGANDE

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The championships will run from August 22 -30.

Team Zimbabwe coach Lisimati Phakamile confirmed the trip to NewsDay Sport yesterday, adding that he had high hopes athletes would acclimatise to the environment.

“The athletes left today (yesterday) for the championships. The reason they left early was to get enough time to acclimatise,” he said.

He was optimistic the team would do well in the world-class championships.

“The athletes are definitely ready for the championships. These are senior athletes and we expect them to make it on the best times and at least get to the finals so they raise the Zimbabwean flag high.
We hope they perform to the best of their abilities and make us proud, bringing medals in the process,” Phakamile said.

“Olivia Chitate has also joined the team, meaning we have five athletes representing the country. Chitate and Tatenda Tshumba are part of the Africa Games team that will be representing the country in Congo in September.”

Cuthbert Nyasango, Gilbert Mutandiro, Cephas Pasipamire and Chitate will set the ball rolling for Zimbabwe when they take part in marathon events on Sunday.

Tsumba will take part in the 200m heats on August 25.

Tshumba, who is based in the United Sates, will be joining his fellow countrymen in Beijing.

The championships will serve as qualifiers for the Olympic Games that are scheduled for Brazil in 2016.

Zimbabwe had just two athletes at the last edition of the Championships in Moscow, Russia, where Pasipamire finished outside the top 10 in the marathon category.