Makusha back on track

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BY TERRY MADYAUTA

The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) has selected 15 athletes to represent the country at the Africa Senior Championships to be held in Mauritius in June.

Top sprinter Ngoni Makusha headlines the list that also includes former University of Zimbabwe 200 and 400-metre athlete Garren “Bhiza” Muwishi.

The cast also includes sprinters Tapiwa Makarawu, Raymond Ngavi, Dickson Kamungeremu, Mitchell Zuze and Samkeliso Ndebele.

For the 400 and 800-metre events, they also selected Tapiwa Chineka and Isaac Mudzi, with Wellington Varevi, Fortunate Chidzivo set for the long distances.

Awakhiwe Ndlovu and Theophilous Mudzengerere are the only triple jumpers in the squad.

James Mtenje will participate in javelin.

In announcing the athletes, NAAZ president Tendai Tagara said: “The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe have identified a long list of potential athletes based in Zimbabwe for the Africa Senior Championship that will take place in Mauritius from June 12-15.

“These athletes will be running and training with their coaches and clubs as it is like in Botswana and South Africa.

“They will be going to competitions in and outside regional invitations like Zambia, Botswana and South Africa with their clubs.

“As soon as they qualify, the association will then look at how to prepare them for Mauritius. The idea is to inform the athlete that they have the potential to qualify,” he said.

NAAZ has set standard time for the athletes to achieve if they are to be considered for the championships.

For the 100-metre sprint, they set 10.18 seconds as the benchmark.

“We have set a standard that we want the athletes to achieve for example 100m ,they should run 10.18.

“We believe Africa Senior is not a stage to get experience but to get results for world championship. For example, world qualifying standard for 100m is 10.05.

“So it does not make wise decision to send a sprinter running 10.32 when we are chasing such a high performance.”

Meanwhile, the association is pinning all hopes on the government to fund them as they prepare for the competitions

“We have written to government through the Sports and Recreation Commission seeking support so that we send a strong team to
Mauritius.

“This is early season and carrying on from last season we are looking at these athletes as a group that has the greatest potential to continue from where they left and meet the entry standards for the Africa Snr Champs. We are not closing the door on new upcomings and qualifiers.”

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