Sprinter Matiyenga fails to reach semi-finals

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Tinotenda Matiyenga

BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
ZIMBABWEan sprinter Tinotenda Matiyenga failed to progress to the semi-finals at the ongoing World Athletes Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America after he finished seventh in 20.72 seconds in his heat in the 200m race.

The championships started on Friday and will end on July 24.

Zimbabwe fielded three athletes including Isaac Mpofu, who competed in the men’s marathon on Sunday managing to finish 10th in 2 hours 7 minutes 57 seconds.

He set a new national record beating the previous best of 2 hours 9 minutes 52 seconds set by Cuthbert Nyasango in 2014.

Reflecting on Matiyenga’s performance, team coach Lisimati Phakamile said the competition served as a learning curve considering the level of competition being displayed at the championships.

“As the coach, I accept the results of my athletes as there are a number of lessons learnt during such level of competition. For first timers at this level, we stand to learn daily. Tinotenda ran quite a good race, unfortunately he did not make it to the semi-finals. We are happy that he managed to participate, hoping that he gained some valuable experience and lessons from there,” Phakamile said.

In Matiyenga’s heat, the top four who qualified to the semi-finals were the United States’ Erriyon Knighton who crossed the finishing line in 20.01 seconds followed by Luxolo Adams from South Africa who finished in 20.10 seconds.

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake from United Kingdom came third in 20.11 seconds while Yancarlos Martinez from Dominican Republic finished in 20.13 seconds.

Meanwhile, triple jumper Chengetayi Mapaya will be in action tomorrow in his preliminaries as he hopes to make it to the finals which will take place on July 23.

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