Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
NATIONAL Athletics Association of Zimbabwe director for coaching, talent identification and development, Lisimati Phakamile, has hailed the senior men’s 4x100m relay team for qualifying for the IAAF World Relays over the weekend.
The team, made up of Dickson Kamungeremu, Tatenda Tsumba, Itayi Vambe and Ngoni Makusha, came first at the Lefika Athletics Club Relays and Hurdles event in Gaborone, Botswana, on Saturday in 38.95seconds, setting a new national record in the process.
The previous record was 39.16seconds set in 2007 at the African Games.
Saturday’s meet saw the team qualifying for the World Relays in Yokohama, Japan, on May 11 and 12.
Tsumba and Harare-based Makusha were part of the team that represented the country at the Africa Senior Championships last year in Nigeria where the relay team finished fourth in the final.
The other two athletes then were Leon Tafirenyika and Dickson Kapandura, who did not make the trip this time around.
“I think the boys were actually very motivated and inspired by their performance in Nigeria and ever since we came back from Nigeria we deliberately put them together.
“Currently, they are training together, the four of them, actually, with a fifth athlete Dickson Kapandura, who did not make the trip.
“But, because of the motivation and the vision that we had as an association, we thought that if we push them and support them all the way we might get some rewards.
“And, I am happy to say something is coming up,” said Phakamile.
Phakamile said with the top 16 teams qualifying for the World Championships set for Doha, Qatar, from September 27 to October 6, they are optimistic the team will make the grade.