By Courage Nyaya A SQUAD of eight athletes including two officials has been picked for the Africa Senior Champions scheduled for June 8 to 12 in Mauritius.
The group comprises Olympian and 100m and 200m national champion Ngoni Makusha, Gerren Muwishi, Dickson Kamungeremu, Tapiwa Makarawu, Artwell Simon as well as the reigning 100m women’s champion Michelle Zuze. The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) also included in the team juniors Panashe Nhenga and Denzel Siamulela.
Ashely Tinashe the daughter of Zimbabwean veteran sprinter Felix Kamangirira, who is making her debut appearance for Zimbabwe and High Jump national record holder Kudakwashe Chadenga are the other two athletes who will meet with the rest of the team in Mauritius.
National Athletics of Zimbabwe president Tendai Tagara expressed delight with the team that has been put in place.
“We are happy as an association with the team we are sending. We have made sure that the team that is going there is targeting semi-final and final and if you look at it, should they run very well, one or two of them will be on the podium, ” said Tagara.
He also paid gratitude to various partners including the government, the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) as well as private partners like Whitespear Sport, clubs and individuals who sponsored some athletes with tickets. “ If you look at partners like Whitespear Sport, they assisted with air tickets, we also have other partners that assisted with air tickets, we wish them all the best and that is the spirit. We do not have to always expect to get everything from the government, all the partners that helped the team to be there, that is the spirit.”
The team is led by head coach Phakamile Lisimati and NAAZ secretary-general Cynthia Phiri who is team manager as well as COVID-19 compliance officer.
Phakamile Lisimati says he is hopeful this time around the team is going to bring silverware and is looking forward to qualify for the Oregon World Champions.
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“We are travelling with a very energetic team and a strong group of local athletes supported by two foreign-based athletes — Ashley Miller and Kudakwashe Chadenga. This time around we are very hopeful for a medal and we are looking forward to qualification for the World Championships,”Lisimati said.
The Athletics African Championships will run from June 8 to June 12, 2022 at the Cote d’Or National Sports Complex in Mauritius.
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