TANZANIA top runners Alphonce Simbu and Failuna Matanga are scheduled to pitch camp in Kenya, in preparations for this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Tanzania Athletics (AT) Information Officer, Tullo Chambo said in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that the two runners are scheduled to commence a five-month training this weekend.
Chambo said that the two marathoners who are the only Tanzanian athletes to have attained the Olympic Games qualification standards so far, will be training at a famous running camp site in Iten.
Failuna, who was the first Tanzanian to seal a ticket for Tokyo 2020 Olympics after finishing third in Hamburg Marathon last year by clocking 2 hours, 27 minutes and 55 seconds behind Kenyan and Ethiopian runners, beat the qualifying time by almost two minutes.
Simbu who competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the men's marathon and finished 5th with a time of 2:11.15 also won a bronze medal for the country in the men's marathon at the IAAF 2017.
Chambo said the Iten camp will give the two athletes ample time to focus on preparations for the quadrennial event, which Tanzania has failed to earn medal since 1980 in Moscow, where 3,000metres steeplechase runner Filbert Bayi, and 5000metres long-distance runner Suleiman Nyambui won silver medal each.
AT is determined to reverse the trend and Tullo insisted that early preparations will be important for athletes to perform at their optimum.
The women's marathon will be held on August 8th, while the men's race will take place the following day.
The Olympics marathon will be hosted in the city of Sapporo, situated about 800 kilometres from the city of Tokyo.
The changes of venue made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were due to the high temperatures expected in Tokyo during the Games.
Apart from the two runners, AT has as well unveiled that they are going to send runner Ally Gulam in Japan for a special training camp.
The runner will participate in various events in search for qualification marks for the July 14 to August 9 Games.
"Our target is to see the athlete bag his ticket for the Tokyo Olympics, so as to increase the number of country's representatives in the multinational event, as well as boost the battle for medals," said Chambo.
He said AT wants to increase the number of runners in this year's Olympic Games, especially in long and middle distance races.
The entry standards and qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in the men's and women's marathon events are 2:19:00 to 2:11:30 and 2:45:00 to 2:29:00 respectively and should be achieved within May 1st 2019 - June 29th 2020.
The Games will feature 339 events in 33 different sports, encompassing 50 disciplines.
Alongside the five new sports that will be introduced in Tokyo, there will be 15 new events within existing sports, including 3x3 basketball, freestyle BMX and Madison cycling, and new mixed events in several sports.