Senior Sports Reporter
OLYMPIC hopeful, Ngoni Makusha, says he is hoping for the best when he competes in the All Comers athletics meet, set for today and tomorrow, in Lusaka, Zambia.
It's a busy weekend for athletes, chasing qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Long distance runners are in Italy where they will participate in the Siena Marathon tomorrow.
The quartet of Fortunate Chidzivo, Isaac Mpofu, Ngonidzashe Ncube and Munyaradzi Jari will be seeking qualifying times, for the marathon, for the rescheduled Games.
They left the country on Wednesday and arrived in Italy on Thursday.
Makusha is in Zambia, where he will compete, in both the 100m and 200m events.
He has been in South Africa at the High Performance Centre for his training.
"The preparations have been going pretty good. I am happy with the progress I have made.
"I will be doing a double this weekend. The target is, obviously, to run fast, so, I am just going to run as fast as I can.
"It's always hard to predict times but I know that, as long as I am going to give it my all, something is definitely going to come out of it.
"It is a very important competition so I have to make sure I'm at my best on the day, just execute what I've been doing at training and, definitely, if I get everything correct, a qualifying time will come.
"But, I am going in with a relaxed mind, no pressure," said Makusha.
He competed in the ASA Athletix Invitational Meeting in Johannesburg, more than a week ago, focusing on 200m, and says it helped boost his confidence.
"Yes, it definitely did, I'm more confident than I ever was, which is always good in performing well.
"I have been working hard, trying to get everything right.
"Last week's race was really important for me, to see where I am, in terms of 200m, so it kind of gave me an insight, to gauge the areas I need to work on, and improve on, going into the All Comers meet," said Makusha.
He will be joined by Dickson Kamungeremu, Itai Vambe, Makanaka Charamba, Garren Muwishi and Oliver Masara.
Charamba, Muwishi and Masara are targeting qualification to the World Under-20 Championships, scheduled for August, in Kenya.
Meanwhile, long distance coach, Collen Makaza, who has been working with the athletes in Italy, is confident they will get a positive result tomorrow.
"The athletes are ready for this race. We are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping they can make it, all of them, for the Olympics.
"Munya Jari was in Kenya, Isaac and Ngoni they are training partners and we hope they push each other and run as a team.
" Fortunate is very strong, mentally, and she will fight to the finishing line.
"Italy is a good venue for them as it is low altitude so it is to our advantage to race there.
"If they don't make it there is still another whole month for a second chance. But it will be in South Africa," said Makaza.
The qualifying times for the marathon is 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds for men and 2 hours 29 minutes 30 seconds for women.