16 April 2018

Tanzania Seals Dreadful Treble in Games

TANZANIA has finished the Gold Coast's Club Games medal-less, after dismal performances in both men and women's marathons in a closing day yesterday.

Making its final attempt of roping medals in the Gold Coast Games, Tanzanians watched in dismay as none the five marathoners tasked in the medal hunt doing well.

Only two of them managed to finish the 42km race; Stephen Huche Gwandu who finished 14th and Sarah Ramadhani who finished 9th in the women race.

Said Juma Makula, didn't finish at all. Gwandu, who finished 14th in the event won by an Australian, Michael Shelley, clocked 2 hours, 33 minutes and 03 seconds.

Shelley clocked 2:16:46 ahead of Ugandan runner, Munyo Solomon Mutai who won silver while bronze went to Robbie Simpson of Scotland who penned 2:19:36. The Commonwealth record is 2:09:12 set by Ian Thompson of England in 1974.

Sara Ramadhani who finished 9th clocked 2 hours, 46 minutes and 52 seconds. The Club Games record is 2 hours, 25 minutes and 28 seconds set by Lisa Martin in Auckland New Zealand in 1990.

Gwandu's 2:33:03 was far behind his personal best time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 19 seconds and Makula whose personal best in 2:11.11, were not in their best form to overcome stiff challenge from their opponents.

It was the first time Tanzania fails to win a single medal in Australian soil. Australia has been the lucky and medal winning venue for Tanzania for many years. The best from the Down Under country is Brisbane where Tanzania hauled six medals.

Tanzania also won medals in Melbourne and Sydney cities. In this year's Commonwealth Games, which is the 21st editions of the games, Tanzania was represented by athletics, boxing, swimming and table tennis.

The performance of Team Tanzania which comprised 16 athletes has been awful as none of the athletes has managed to win a medal, as they were eliminated in the preliminary rounds and few managed to cruise into the round of 16 but failed to advance into the quarter finals.

Australian games were the third consecutive games without a medal. The first was the 19th edition in New Delhi, India in 2010 and the second was the 20th edition held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. Last time Tanzania won medal in the event was in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia, where Samson Ramadhani grabbed gold in marathon and Fabiano Joseph won bronze in 10,000m race.

Ramadhani held off a series of challenges from Kenyan Fred Mogaka before kicking clear to win the men's marathon in a time of 2:11.29, more than three minutes outside his personal best, after building a clear lead over the final two kilometre.

During the same event, Fabiano Joseph Naasi won bronze medal in men's 10,000-metre race as Tanzania finished 19th in medal charts with two medals. The Commonwealth Games record in 1500m race which is still being held by Tanzania Athletic icon Filbert Bayi, which he broke in Christ Church, New Zealand in 1974, is yet to be broken.

South Africa, placed fifth on 37 (13 gold, 11 silver, 13 bronze) is the leading African nation in the medal charts, while Nigeria placed ninth with 23 medals (9 gold, 8 silver, 6 bronze) is second for Africa in medals table so far.

Kenya is a highest placed nation in East Africa as they occupy 13th place with 17 medals (4 gold, 7 silver, 6 bronze), while Uganda with five medals is the second highest East African nation in the Games (3 gold, 2 bronze).

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