Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S contingent to the African Union Sports Council Region Five Under-20 Youth Games finally left yesterday, with most of the team leaders expressing confidence in their athletes.
The Games roar into life tomorrow and run until December 16 in Gaborone, with countries from the Southern African region taking part.
Team Zimbabwe had been scheduled to leave on Monday before logistical issues left them holed up in their local camp for an extra night.
Zimbabwe will fight for honours in athletics, athletics for the visually impaired, football (girls), netball, swimming and tennis.
Sporting disciplines such as athletics and athletics for the visually impaired have been major contributors to the country’s success when it comes to medals at these Games over the years.
At the previous edition in Angola in 2016, Zimbabwe came second behind South Africa with 96 medals. Athletics had 30 medals and athletics for the visually impaired accounted for 27 medals.
Athletics coach Benson Samu is fancying their chances again this year when they compete with the rest of the region’s best athletes in the next 11 days.
“In Angola, as athletics, we got four gold medals. So our aim this time around is that we need to look at around six to eight gold medals. I think we would have done ourselves great service by having those medals and it’s obtainable with the talent that we have right now,” said Samu.
Zimbabwe will be pinning their hopes on the likes of Dickson Kapadura, who was part of the team that competed at the Africa Senior Championships in Nigeria, in August.
Earlier in July he had represented the country at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships.