Athletics Body To Hold Olympics Training Camp

The president of NAAZ Joseph  Mungwari says the athletes will be brought together under the same training programme to improve their performance ahead of the sporting extravaganza.

According to Mungwari, the athletes will be taken to Nyanga in the Manicaland province on a two to three week training stint in April before they are released.

Mungwari says Nyanga has the terrain similar to the one the Kenyans use to prepare their athletes adding that this would be the ideal place for the Zimbabweans to improve their form.

Kenya is one of the leading athletics nations in the world especially in the middle and long distance races.

So far, Ngonidzashe Makusha, Cuthbert Nyasango, Wirimai Zhuwao and Gilbert Mutandiro have qualified to represent Zimbabwe though there is still time for the likes of Gabriel Mabvure, Tabitha Tsatsa, Sharon Tawengwa, and Brian Dzingai to make their mark and make the journey to London.

Zimbabwe has not won an athletics medal at the Olympic Games and the best the country has done in athletics was Makusha’s performance at the 2008 Games in Beijing in which the USA based long jumper missed out of a medal by only a centimetre after finishing fourth behind South Africa’s Khotso Mokoena.

At the 1992 Games middle distance athlete Tendai Chimusasa managed a seventh finish but Mungwari is hoping for the better. ‘I think we have the best chance of a medal even a gold medal. Our hopes are pinned on Ngoni who has improved greatly from the last time he was at the Olympics,” says Mungwari.

Makusha won the Bowerman Award in the USA in 2011 becoming only the fourth man along with Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, and David Hubbard to win the award. He beat Jeshua Anderson, and Christian Taylor to get the prestigious award.

The Bowerman, is presented by the United States Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches’ Association to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track and field athlete in the US.

Surprisingly, Makusha was not considered for the 2011 Zimbabwean Sportsperson of the Year Award that was eventually won by swimmer Kirsty Coventry.