ONE of the leading female long-distance runners, Fortunate Chidzivo, says her participation at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships is going to be a confidence-booster.
She is targeting qualifying for Olympics. The event is scheduled for October 17 in Gdynia, Poland.
Chidzivo is the sole Zimbabwean representative.
Although she is not expecting much, since it is going to be her first race after a long break, Chidzivo said a good time will be a huge boost.
“I thank Cephas Pasipamire, who helped with the polishing up, for four weeks in September,” she said.
“I have not had a chance to have a tune-up race but we had a tempo run with Pasipamire, on the last weekend of September, which went very well.
“I don’t have much expectations, because with the Covid-19 pandemic I haven’t done all the aspects of my training.
“I just did what I was able to do, so I am not expecting much. But, you never know, the body may respond in a way I may not expect on race day.
“If I get a good position, and run a good time, I will easily get a qualifying race. It will also build a lot of confidence in me and it will help me to be mentally ready.” Chidzivo is one of the Olympics hopefuls for Zimbabwe, in the marathon, and has previously represented the country at the World Championships and the African Games.
“As an athlete, I am always eager and hungry to be on the starting line, so, I am looking forward to be on the starting line with pride, and joy, representing the country in the national colours,” she said.
“I thank God for that.
“With less than two weeks to go, I am just focusing on getting my visa, nothing much about the race.”
Chidzivo was being helped by her coach from South Africa, Chris Bruwer.
“Many thanks to my coach, Chris Bruwer, with the training programme and support from my running club Retail Capital Langa for making sure I have food on the table during the pandemic.
“And, not forgetting NAAZ (National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe) for the support with a letter permitting me to travel to track and hill work venues and financial support for me to get a visa,” said Chidzivo. She is currently processing her paperwork in South Africa.