BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) has stepped up preparations to host this year’s edition of the JM Busha 54 Triangular Track and Field Series to be held at National sports Stadium on Africa Day. NAAZ president Tendai Tagara told NewsDay Sport that preparations for the tournament were now at an advanced stage.
“The race will take place in Harare on May 25 and the preparations are at an advanced stage and we are hoping to have more athletes than last year; this is our target. We are happy with the response from schools and clubs and all athletes are gearing for the event.”
The competition will be used as part of preparations for the next World Half Marathon Championships pencilled for Gdynia, Poland on March 29, 2020.
“This year’s target is a 21km race, which we are using as a qualifying event for the World half marathon, so we are expecting a lot of athletes coming … and we are targeting to select those to represent Zimbabwe. We have invited a lot of schools to the event,” Tagara said.
He said they have not changed the prize money in their bid to motivate athletes.
“We have made sure that the first prize remains at $3 000 although it’s now a 21km race so that we motivate our athletes to come in their numbers. We are saying Zimbabwe come and lets run for peace,” he added
Prominent Zimbabwean businessman, philanthropist and politician Joseph Makamba Busha is the sponsor of the event, which will see athletes take part in 11 events namely the 100m hurdles, 110m hurdles, 100m, 400m, 800m, 5 000m, long jump, high jump, shot put, discus and javelin.