Garan’anga’s world ranking of 649 does not qualify him to play at the global sports festival but Tennis Zimbabwe is hoping that he will be considered on the basis that he is at the moment Africa’s top tennis player.
Garan’anga won the gold medal at the All Africa Games which were held in Mozambique in September.
Tennis Zimbabwe president Anne Martin says it is on that basis that they are hoping that the International Tennis Federation will consider Garan’anga’s participation at the Olympic Games.
She says they have already been told that the Confederation of African Tennis have forwarded Zimbabwe’s letter to the ITF adding that they are now waiting for a response from the international tennis controlling body.
Only the top 50 tennis players according to the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings have automatic entry at the Olympic Games.
The ITF, however, have places for other players who do not meet the qualifying criteria but can be considered after looking at the circumstances.
Garan’anga is also Zimbabwe’s top tennis player and last year won the Zimbabwe Open tennis tournament beating veteran Genius Chidzikwe in straight sets at Harare Sports Club.
He is also a finalist in the sportsman of the year award category alongside chess player Robert Gwaze and marathon runner Stephen Muzhingi. Muzhingi won the award.
Zimbabwe is selecting their team for the Olympic Games and so far five athletes including Kirsty Coventry have been picked to represent Zimbabwe. Coventry has won seven of the eight medals that Zimbabwe has won since their admission to international sport in 1980.
The other medal was won by the women’s hockey team at the 1980 Moscow Games which were boycotted by a number of countries.