BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
RECORD-BREAKING long distance runner Isaac Mpofu has set his sights on further improvement after setting a new national marathon record at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon in the United States recently.
The 33-year-old finished 10th in the global athletics competition in an impressive time of two hours, seven minutes and 56 seconds to shatter Cuthbert Nyasango’s eight-year national marathon record.
The previous national marathon record was two hours, nine minutes and 52 seconds set by Olympian Nyasango at the 2014 edition of the Prague International Marathon in the Czech Republic.
Mpofu told NewsDay Sport that he was elated for having such an opportunity to represent the country at a global event where he met top athletes in the world.
“I had a good experience at the World Athletics Championships and learnt a lot from competing among some of the biggest names in the sport. For the record, I’m blessed and truly happy and I wish to have another opportunity to do even better for the country,” he said.
“I learnt a lot, which is good for the coming races as I will be doing my corrections. I will be working on my weaknesses that were noted during the race. Also being among the best, that’s a lesson on its own as I had to see how they behave, what they eat and how they handle themselves. They say we must learn from the great to become like them.”
Moyo also reflected on the obstacles he faced ahead of the World Athletics Championships in the US.
He won the Durban International Marathon in personal best of time of two hours, 10 minutes and 24 seconds but was later disqualified because he did not have a second licence race number on the back vest.
Mpofu was only cleared to compete at the World Championships after successfully winning an appeal to have the time he clocked during the Durban International Marathon reinstated.
“Being disqualified was a disappointment, but a blessing. It motivated me to prove again that I get the times right. So, with hard training, I managed to do it. Every athlete has some challenges, so we try to cope and endure for positive results,” he said.
From the three athletes that represented the country at the championships, Mpofu was the only one who posted a commendable with both sprinter Tinotenda Matiyenga and triple jumper Chengetai Mapaya failing to go beyond preliminary stages.
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