THE Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association will send 12 athletes to represent the country at this year’s Universities World Cup in Napoli, Italy.
The Games, which are known as Summer Universiade, will be staged between July 3 and 14.
And 12 athletes from different universities have qualified after performing well at the ZUSA Games held at NUST and Africa University in April.
Zimbabwe will field participants in two disciplines — athletics and tennis.
The students met the international standard times.
The rugby team, however, could not make it due to hefty registration fees required for team sports.
Midlands State University male athletes Takunda Dube and Munashe Mpare will compete in tennis while the duo of University of Zimbabwe’s Thembela Ndlovu and Tinaye Muzenyi will participate in the female category.
In athletics, Bindura University of Science Education’s Leon Tafirenyika will compete in the men’s 400m event while MSU’s Raymond Ngavi will race the 100m category.
Ngavi will also compete in the 200m together with UZ’s Roy Machingura.
MSU’s Bradley Mkuvire will race in the men’s 5000m while Miguery Kwenda of the UZ will compete in high jump.
In the athletics’ women’s category, Great Zimbabwe’s Ntama Dube and Chido Gahadzikwa of Women’s University in Africa have qualified for both the 100m and 200m races. The athletics coaches are UZ coach, Elijah Tapatapa and Shingai Nyambipo, from MSU.
Tennis will be coached by Ray Msakanda from MSU.
Yesterday, ZUSA Marketing and Communications Officer, Sibonile Madhodha, said they are working on sending Team Zimbabwe to the bi-annual Games.
“We are currently appealing to the corporate world to assist for the team’s upkeep.
“We have to pay for the athletes’ accommodation at the Games Village. We require kits for the team to be identified as Team Zimbabwe, among other expenses,” said Madhodha.
Zimbabwe have been sending teams for the Summer Games, which are held after every two years, since 2007.
Although the World Cup is open to every Zimbabwean learning at any university in the country or abroad, ZUSA said they are yet to consider foreign-based athletes.
This could have given them a chance to field medal hopeful athletes who are competing at a bigger platform and doing well like United States-based sprinter Kundai Maguranyanga.
Maguranyanga was in March named men’s Athlete of the Year at Drake University.
ZUSA said it is a policy issue.