The Herald (Harare)

3 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Nation Flops in Benin African Senior Athletics Champs

Photo: Kirsty Coventry/Facebook
Zimbabwe swimming superpower Kirsty Coventry receiving a heroin welcome. (File Photo)

ZIMBABWE are unlikely to be represented in track and field events at the 2012 London Olympic Games later this month after a number of athletes failed to go beyond the first round of their respective events at 18th African Senior Athletics Championships in Benin last week.

The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee were expecting more athletes to qualify for this year's Olympic Games from the Benin event but it's now looking more like a dream after most of them failed to go beyond the first round.

In Benin, Zimbabwe was represented by five sprinters -- Francis Zimwara, United States-based Brian Dzingai, Antony Hobwana, Marvin Bonde and David Tinago.

But they all failed to post qualifying times for the London Games at the African championships and time is no longer on their side as the cut-off date for athletics has been set for July 8.

Zimwara went out in the first round of the men's 100 metres, while Dzingai and Bonde did not make it into the starting line-up for the 200m and Tinago also made a first round exit as he came sixth in his 400m.

Another top Zimbabwean sprinter, Gabriel Mvumvure, who was expected to book his place for the London Games during the Benin championships, did not take part because of visa complications. So far seven athletes -- swimmer Kirsty Coventry, marathon runners Cutbert Nyasango, Wirimai Juwawo and Sharon Tavengwa, triathlete Chris Felgate and rowers Jamie Fraser-Mackenzie and Micheen Thornycroft - have officially qualified to represent Zimbabwe at the London Games.

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