SPRINTER Ngoni Makusha says it is exciting to finally see the country picking up a medal at a major competition after the men's 4x100m relay team won bronze on Friday at the Africa Senior Championships in Mauritius.
The curtain came down on the meet yesterday.
For Zimbabwe, the best performance was from the men's 4x100m relay team that won a bronze medal.
The team was made up of Makusha, Dickson Kamungeremu, Denzel Simusialela and Tapiwa Makarawu.
"It's been long time coming and we are really glad that we managed to get a podium finish which was one of our goals.
"It's really important for me to get this medal for my country. It's something that I have always wanted and it's really huge in my career, so I am happy," said Makusha.
Makusha was part of the 4x100m relay team that competed in the final at the same championships in 2018, in Nigeria. The other members were Dickson Kapandura, Tatenda Tsumba and Leon Tafirenyika.
They finished fourth, missing out on the podium.
However, this year's edition saw an improvement from the relay team and they managed to pick up a medal at the continental meet.
It was a different story in the individual events.
Makusha reached the semi-finals of the 100m event on the first day of the competition but failed to progress to the final.
It was the same scenario in the 200m event. He came sixth in the semi-finals, in heat two, in 21.32seconds.
Tapiwa Makarawu also finished sixth in heat three of the semi-finals with a time of 21.20seconds.
High jumper Kudakwashe Chadenga also missed on a podium finish.
The Africa Championships were also an opportunity to qualify for next month's World Athletics Championships and Zimbabwean athletes missed qualification in their respective events.
Makusha said the just-ended competition is likely to be his last for the season.
"Obviously, I wanted to get to the finals but nonetheless I am happy with my performance it's been a tough season for me mentally due to certain reasons, so I am not that disappointed
"I am thinking of calling it a season but we will see how the body feels after returning home," Makusha said.
For the future, he believes with the right support, there is room for improvement and the country can pick more medals at such competitions.
"I think for us to gain more medals, there is need to support athletes more in terms of our preparations and upkeep. That way we will definitely improve our performances," said Makusha.
While local athletes at the Africa Championships missed qualification, United States-based triple jumper Chengetayi Mapaya booked his place at the World Championships with a 17.26m jump during the NCAA Championships last Friday.
The world meet is scheduled for July 15 to 24 in Eugene, Oregon, United States.