Following several coaching courses that have been held in the country by the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe, the mother body’s vice-president, Enias Nhoro, says they are positive standards will improve.
Nhoro said it’s high time they targeted podium performances at major competitions with their immediate focus being the Confederation of African Athletics Under-20 (Junior) Championships scheduled for April, in Cote d’Ivoire. “We now have coaches who have been trained to coach athletes at a very high level. Remember we have done two international courses for these coaches where we had experts from IAAF coming to train them,” he said.
“So, because of that, we are also expecting that these athletes who are going to be selected are going to benefit from the coaches in the specific events their coaches have been trained in.
“At this level the coaches have been trained to come up with athletes who qualify at very high levels of competition.
“And also athletes that qualify for major championships like the World Championships and in most cases if you talk of the Africa Championships we expect these athletes to be qualifying for the Africa Championships and also do very well in terms of them getting into the finals, and the semi-finals.
“But in the finals we also expect them to go beyond just entering the finals. We expect them to be coming up with some medals of some kind so that as they represent the country we are able to say from this, we got this.”
With the qualification period now open for the continental meet and most of the local athletes coming from a break, Nhoro said they were going to push for a number of competitions to improve their condition to meet the qualifying standards.
“At the moment, most of the athletes are coming from the off-season, so for them to really come up to qualification levels they need a series of competitions. “As time goes on they will all catch up and come to their normal expected performances, particularly from mid-February or end of February to mid-March, that’s when you find that most of the athletes would have picked up to their levels.”