Zimbabwe: Acnw Postponement - Zim Team Focused

20 February 2020

ATHLETICS coach David Tinago says the postponement of the ACNW track and field meet, which had been scheduled for last Saturday, will not affect their plans for the AGN League on this weekend.

Zimbabwe's locally-based leading sprinters Ngoni Makusha, Tatenda Tsumba, Itayi Vambe and Dickson Kamungeremu as well as Dickson Kapandura, who is moving from juniors to seniors, arrived in South Africa last week.

They are in pursuit of qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

They had hoped to compete in two events.

The first should have been the ACNW track and field, which had been scheduled for last Saturday in Potchefstroom, but was postponed to a later date.

The athletes are now focusing on the AGN League track slated for Saturday in Pretoria.

The AGN League meet had initially been set for February 25 but has now been rescheduled for February 22 at Bestmed Tuks Stadium.

"The good thing is we are training at the stadium that we will use," said Tinago. "Now, we are focusing on the 22nd meet.

"It will be a big competition."

National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe director for coaching and talent identification, Lisimati Phakamile, who has also been working with the athletes for some time, underscored the importance of early qualification.

"Definitely, we are expecting them to qualify as early as possible. The boys know what's on offer and what lies ahead.

"They have been working hard pushing themselves.

"It's actually work in progress, we are hoping for them to perform because we are saying if we miss such chances, it will become a little bit difficult for us because if the date gets closer to competition (Olympics) it will be difficult to keep up."

Long-distance runners are also busy with their programmes for upcoming qualifying marathons in April and May in the Netherlands and Czech Republic.

The national association have been looking closely at the four athletes who made the World Championships last year -- Munyaradzi Jari, Isaac Mpofu, Ngonidzashe Ncube and Rutendo Nyahora.

They have, however, also set their eyes on Ethel Sibanda and Fortunate Chidzivo.

"We have athletes going to the Netherlands in April and we have athletes who are going to compete in Prague in May.

"But, we would want everyone to go to Netherlands, that's our targeted qualifying event.

"We will find support for the team. We are working flat out to help them as much as we can," said Phakamile.

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