Hope and determination remain key elements for sprinter Ngoni Makusha in his pursuit for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, rescheduled for next year.
The Harare-based athlete is one of the several hopefuls the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe are banking on to qualify for the global showcase.
After months of inactivity, he took part at the Inter-provincial Championships in Bulawayo recently and came first in the 200m event, in 20.85s.
Although he is content with the outcome, he is aware he needs to take his game to the next level, with the qualifying time for 200m set at 20.24s for men.
The women's qualifying time is 22.80s.
"I think the performance was okay. I managed to run 20.85 seconds in 200m, which is a good time, considering the weather conditions, it was raining in Bulawayo," he said.
"I haven't been racing for a few months, this was my first 200m, after a while, so I am quite happy with the performance.
"I need to work on my speed because, with the coaches, I have been working more on technique and endurance, so we were just about to start speed work.
"So, as soon as I start speed work, I am sure my times will improve because I just ran without doing any speed work."
Makusha is set to move his training base to South Africa, where he is hoping to spend not less than a month, at a High Performance Centre.
He believes, with the facilities and assistance from experienced coaches at the High Performance Centre, it could boost his chances of meeting the qualifying times.
"We are planning to go this December, if everything goes well, we are just working with the team towards that, raising the funds and everything.
"I am just hoping to spend, maybe a month or two, at the Pretoria High Performance Centre.
"It's something that we are working on.
"In South Africa, the high-performance coaches that are there, they are experienced coaches who have athletes who have been to the Olympics before so they know what it takes to go to the Olympics.
"They have facilities that we don't have here in Zimbabwe."
Makusha has been working, alongside the likes of Dickson Kamungeremu, under the guidance of coach David Tinago.
Kamungeremu was also at the Inter-provincials and the coach was impressed with what he witnessed from the duo.
"The way forward is to enhance their chances of qualification by making them stay strong, stay healthy and, probably, to have more competition building towards the qualifiers for the Olympics. We are planning to have a training camp," said Tinago.
Meanwhile, marathon runners began a two-week camp in Vumba yesterday, under the guidance of coaches Cephas Pasipamire and Collen Makaza.
Among the athletes in Vumba are Isaac Mpofu and Ngonidzashe Ncube, who are also eyeing qualification for the Olympics.