21 June 2012

Zambia: NOC Impressed With Olympic Team

THE National Olympic Committee (NOC) has said it is happy with the composition of the squad that will represent Zambia at the London 2012 Olympic Games scheduled for July 27 to August 12, 2012.

Zambia would be represented by runners Gerald Phiri, Prince Mumba and Tony Wamulwa, swimmers Jade Howard and Zane Jordan, boxer Gilbert Choombe and judoka Boas Munyonga.

NOC president, Mirriam Moyo, however said her organisation would have liked to travel with a contingent of more than seven athletes had more athletes met the qualifying criteria.

Moyo said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that there was a possibility that some of the athletes would perform well at the games whose theme is 'Inspire a Generation' and has attracted 72 sporting disciplines.

"As National Olympic Committee, we are happy with what we have, although we would have liked to take more athletes because that is our wish every time when we have these major competitions," Moyo said.

The NOC chief said having more athletes in each sporting discipline at a tournament like the Olympic Games was an advantage because it relieves pressure off athletes.

"We are happy that we have seven so far and especially that most of them qualified, which gives us hope that there is room for them do well even in future competitions with good preparations now that we have the Olympic Youth Development Centre," she said.

On the money needed to send the team to London and related logistics,Moyo said the NOC submitted a budget to the Ministry of Sports some time back and was awaiting feedback.

Howard and Jordan are wild card entries while Phiri, Mumba, Wamulwa, Choombe and Munyonga booked berths to the games after meeting qualifying times for runners and going through the qualifying process for judo and boxing.

There is a possibility of the number of athletes swelling from seven to nine athletes provided runners Titus Kafunda and Xavier Kombe manage to meet qualifying times at the upcoming tournament in Benin.

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