TANZANIA sprint heroine and the former 100m- dash champion Mossi Ally has launched a campaign to revive sprint and other short distance races now lost prominence countrywide.
To launch the campaign, Mossi organised a series of short distance races at the national stadium in Dar es Salaam over the weekend which she said the organisers said were highly successful.
The coordinator of the sprinting revival races Mwinga Mwanjala said the move to revive 100m and 200m short distance races was a renewed campaign to make sure Tanzania produces world class runners in the discipline as opposed to the today's situation when the country gives priority to the longest distance races and marathons.
According to Mwanjala the organisers also staged 400m and 800m races which account to the middle distance discipline. "The races were well organised and brought on track youthful runners from all over the country.
We believe the event has done something in reviving the forgotten disciplines," she added. She said what made the event highly motivating was good times recorded by the youthful runners.
Citing an example, she said in 400m, Mwanjala said most of the best finishers clocked under 50 seconds which is not far from the national record of 45: 75 set by Claver Kamanya in Oktober 1968.
Mwanjala said the event awarded cash prizes ranging from 50,000/-, to 30,000/- and 20,000/- to the winners, runners up and second runners up respectively.
The revival was also supported by the 1500m Commonwealth Games record holder Filbert Bayi, who said the event has brought back to limelight both sprint and athletics in general.
Bayi is also the national record holder of the 1,500m. Bayi shattered the record during Commonwealth Games that were held in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1974 when he won the country's first gold medal after beating John Walker of New Zealand and Ben Jipcho of Kenya who finished third.