4 August 2014

Tanzania Miss Out On Medals

TANZANIA bit the dust in the 2014 Commonwealth Games that reached climax yesterday in Glasgow, Scotland without a single athlete managing to secure a medal for the country.

Cycling duo of Emmanuel Mollely and Richard Loning'o Laizer were Tanzania's last medal hope, however, they followed the same path trodden by their teammates.

Worse still, the two cyclists did not finish the race yesterday ensuring the country's athletes would return home empty-handed from the event. Late on Saturday Bazili Baynit missed out on the top three positions in the Men's 1500 metres final.

Baynit finished eighth in three minutes 41.74 seconds as James Magut from Kenya scooped a gold medal. Magut's 18-year-old team mate Ronald Kwemoi was overhauled in the final metres and finished just 0.22 adrift.

Similarly, New Zealand's Nick Willis just edged out South Africa's Johan Cronje in a tight contest for the bronze medal by 0.05, the former crossing the line in 3:39.60.

While not quite as successful as their female teammates, Magut's gold was the men's third after those in the 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase, the latter providing a clean sweep of medals for both the men and women's teams. "I am really happy with today's success," said Magut, who surged to victory in the final stretch.

"I always have that finish in the last 100m." The Commonwealth Games record in 1500m race which is still being held by Tanzania's athletics icon Filbert Bayi, which he broke in Christ Church, New Zealand in 1974, is yet to be broken.

It is the second consecutive edition of the Commonwealth Games that Team Tanzania misses out on medals after yet another dismal performance by its athletes.

Four years ago, Tanzania athletes put in a poor show at the Club Games held in New Delhi, India as they ended the Games without a single medal.

Given the kind of preparations they went through this time around through the massive assistance of the government, some expected a better performance from Team Tanzania.

The government threw its weight behind Team Tanzania when it paid for the athletes' training in China, Turkey, New Zealand and Ethiopia. Team Tanzania competed in six sports, namely boxing, athletics, cycling, judo, table tennis and swimming, featuring a total of 36 athletes.

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