Zim athletes arrive in Qatar

Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe men’s marathon team arrived in Doha, Qatar, on Monday ahead of their race this weekend at the ongoing IAAF World Championships.

Coach Lisimati Phakamile said they expect them to post some good times although it’s going to be tough considering the tough conditions in Qatar.

The trio of Munyaradzi Jari, Isaac Mpofu and Ngonidzashe Ncube will represent the country in the men’s marathon on Saturday night.

The other two athletes for Team Zimbabwe, Rutendo Nyahora and Chengetayi Mapaya, were in action last Friday.

Nyahora finished in 21st place in the women’s marathon and triple jumper Mapaya was 25th overall after leaping 16.36m.

“For the men, we are expecting them to fight hard to improve their personal best times, make a name for themselves at the elite stage and also try to be among the top 10 finishers to (automatically) qualify for Tokyo Olympic Games,’’ said Phakamile.

“But the weather this side is extremely bad, we can’t judge by their qualifying times but, maybe, the strength of the runners.”

The national association are pinning their hopes on Nyahora and Mapaya to qualify for the Olympics after posting encouraging performances last Friday.

“Rutendo performed extremely well under the conditions in Doha,’’ said Phakamile.

“She finished 21st but the performance indicated very good strength and potential for more positive results to come.

“We are very positive that she will definitely qualify for Tokyo.

“Chengetayi faces a tough competition, as it was his first time at the big stage, he tried his best but because of the limited attempts he got he could not fully get to his top form.

“We still have high hopes as well for his qualification for Tokyo.’’

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