Tanzania: Join Hands to Revive Athletics, Tokyo Olympic 2020 Is Near

THERE are all signs that medal hunt campaign may end in disgrace, Tanzanians shouldn't blame anyone if we come back medal-less after Tokyo Olympic Games five months to come.

With only two marathoners who have met Olympic Games' qualification standards, the revived medal hunt campaign seems to be far from realised, unless something is done fast or miracles happen.

From what we see today, the medal haul campaign has lost its national look to become merely an individual target as the marathoners; Alphonce Simbu and Failuna Abdi Matanga met the qualifying standards after excelling in the global level championships.

In short athletics and athletes head for a disgrace in Tanzania at the moment when the whole sport is being dominated by countless marathon races countrywide.

From what we see regularly, 100m, 200m sprints or middle distance races such as 800m, 1,500m or 3,000m are completely forgotten in the land whose people now call every racing event 'Marathon'.

Observes and athletics enthusiasts claim that poor promotion and lack of sponsorship as the causes of the setback.

Big changes are needed in our schools and higher learning institutions as athletics and its associated games is traditionally a school or college level sport since it normally involves young players.

We expected the mushrooming upper class schools and colleges would bring alongside quality athletes who can represent the country in the world class events.

Since athletics is the major medal hopes in the renewed nationwide campaign for Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, only big investment, sponsorship of events or athletes and promotion of the sport can help the sport to draw big audience in terms of both spectators and sponsors.

To achieve all these the athletics governing body, AT should find means of ending financial and sponsorship woes once it wants to have better and successful tournament next time.

As explained by the president of the athletics governing body (AT), Anthony Mtaka, lack of sponsorship has been a big hurdle because none is interested to support unpopular sport.

To solve this AT and athletics stakeholders should work closely to lure them and convince them to support it, but they should as well find means to reward their support.

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