Zimbabwe: Kamungeremu Disappointed By Failure to Qualify

FOR Dickson Kamungeremu, failing to qualify for the Olympics at the just-ended World Relays left him a disappointed man.

He believes they could have done better, with better preparations and support, building up to the meet.

Zimbabwe sent a five-member team, including one reserve -- Kamungeremu, Ngoni Makusha, Makanaka Charamba, Rodwell Ndlovu and Itayi Vambe.

They missed the opportunity to make the Olympics as the top eight, who qualified for the finals, booked their places at the Tokyo Games. Zimbabwe finished last in their heat of six teams, in the 4x100m relay. "I don't have much to say but I want to say I was greatly disappointed about the outcome," he said.

"I was very confident that this race was going to see us through, qualifying for the Olympics, and change our lives.

"Yes, chances of doing better are still there, if we plan and work hard together as a team, going forward.

"There was poor preparation for this competition because this is at the world stage, we were supposed to have full support, for example, camping, at least one to two months, preparing for this major event.

"The team was not bad but the problem is we didn't have enough time to work and doing baton exchange together.

"I think that was the major drawback for the team."

With the World Relays gone, the focus is now on other upcoming competitions, such as the African Senior Championships, from June 1 to 5.

It's also a qualifying platform for the Olympics and, for Kamungeremu, he is still pursuing qualification in 100m.

"Every race is a learning lesson to me. I still need to perfect my middle and last phase.

"I am still chasing my qualification time for 100m. My second race is in Zambia, (their) nationals this mid-month and I am also preparing for Senior African Champs in Algeria, in June.

"I am hopeful I can make it," said Kamungeremu.

Coach Lisimati Phakamile, who travelled with the team to Poland, said they need to move on and focus on other upcoming competitions.

"Our athletes have to go back to the track, have to keep working on their individual performances and their individual times.

"Remember, the individual athletes' times contribute to the overall team's time.

"The athletes' careers are not entirely on this event but we still have the Africa Senior Championships that are coming up. "We still have the Olympics that are coming up, so all our athletes are still having a chance to qualify for any other competition, or championship.

"We still have a lot of competitions that are coming up and we don't have to bow our heads and cry over the event that has gone, this is now water under the bridge.

"We just simply encourage our athletes to pick up themselves, look up and continue training in preparation for any other competitions that are coming.

"We still have a lot of championships that these guys need to come in and also perform and work as individuals, and as teams as well," said Phakamile.

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