BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
The World Athletics Championships have proved a disappointing outing for Zimbabwe triple jump ace Chengetayi Mapaya, who was the country’s brightest prospect at the Oregon event as he failed to progress to the finals.
The championships started last Friday and will end tomorrow.
Though he previously had a good jump at the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) championships last month with a 17,26m leap, which booked him a slot for the world meet, Mapaya failed to build on that feat after he made two fouls and lept a disappointing 15.75m, which was way below his personal best record.
Team coach Lisimati Phakamile said the result was not the one they expected, but remains hopeful that the experience will help him in future events.
“Chengetai did not do well in his qualifying rounds after he made two foul attempts out of a possible three and couldn’t make it into the finals. He only managed to leap a disappointing 15,75m in an effort to get his rhythm and back into competition. But the chances had already been exhausted. It was a disappointing experience, but we are grateful for the opportunity to perform at such a stage and hope to come back stronger in next year’s edition,” Phakamile said.
Mapaya, who missed the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics Games last year due to a hamstring injury, was hopeful for a comeback at the global meet as he builds his professional career.
It was also the same story for sprinter Tinotenda Matiyenga who failed to progress to the semi-finals on Monday after he came last in the 200m heat in 20.72 seconds. He was placed 34 out of 44 athletes overall.
However, Isaac Mpofu who took part in the men’s marathon event, had a commendable performance and set a new national record as he finished 10th, crossing the finishing line in 2 hours 7 minutes 57 seconds.
Mpofu also broke the eight-year record of 2 hours 9 minutes 52 seconds set by Cuthbert Nyasango in 2014.
Zimbabwe was represented by only three athletes at the event.
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