Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe director-in-charge of youth, Briad Nhubu, says they need to keep monitoring athletes, after their recent camp in Harare, as they continue with their build-up to next month’s African Youth Games in Algeria.
The Games are serving as a qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in October for some sport codes and athletics is among those that will be seeking qualification.
Nhubu is currently working with a provisional team of 15 athletes that will be trimmed down to a number that will be recommended by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.
With most of the schools competitions already done, Nhubu said they need to continue meeting with the athletes regularly. “It was a way to assess the levels of fitness of the athletes and also to work on some expectations which were wanted by the National Olympic Committee.
‘‘It went on very well as most of the athletes turned up. We will trim down to the numbers which ZOC will recommend to us. Generally, I can say the camps are very fruitful and are very important.
‘‘They have been showing very steady progress. We need to even have more camps because these athletes are engaged in other school businesses and they need constant supervision and contact.
“It gives us ample time to assess their health and fitness so that we can come up with measures to make sure they remain in good shape,” said Nhubu.
He said they will take into account events where the athletes have better chances of qualifying. “We have to look at where we have strength and can harvest a slot . . . especially in long and middle distance where they offer more slots in Africa and we, as a country, our strength is better in long and middle distance,” said Nhubu.
Meanwhile, long-distance runner, Betha Chikanga, had a good outing over the weekend when she came first at the third Spar Women’s Challenge 10km race in Durban. Chikanga was the first to cross the finish line in 33.07 minutes.
Other Zimbabwean athletes who took part in the race include Rudo Mhonderwa and seasoned runner Rutendo Nyahora.
Mhonderwa and Nyahora were fourth and fifth respectively.