Lond-distance runner, Munyaradzi Jari, says he is not letting the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic derail his efforts to fulfil his dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games.
Jari is one of the several long-distance runners shortlisted for the Games that were rescheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021.
“My plans have not changed. What has just happened is I have adjusted my training programme,” he said.
“I was hoping, by now, we would have had some races. So, for now, it’s just about keeping fit and staying in shape in case we have a race.
“There is the Athens marathon in November and the World Half marathon. If we fail to get any races this year, we will have to wait for January.
“I think sometimes certain things just happen without a warning and you are not prepared for it.
“But, when it happens, you have to adjust although it’s frustrating because you would have made plans and set targets for yourself.
“Remember, training needs a lot of money.”
The Athens Marathon is set for November 8 and registration opened on July 3 while the World Half marathon is scheduled for October 17.
Zimbabwe is hoping to send a representative for the World Half marathon in Gdynia, Poland.
The 30-year-old Jari, who is with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, is happy with the support he has been getting from his employer.
Jari represented the country at the World Championships last year alongside Isaac Mpofu and Ngonidzashe Ncube in men’s marathon.
“I am grateful to ZRP because they have allowed me to train from now until December,” he said.
“I have been doing some light training, twice a day, just to remain fit. So, it’s usually an hour of jogging.
“For the past three, or four months, I have been training alone.
“But, now, some athletes are starting to come back, so I have (Collen) Makaza and some boys.
“This situation is not going to deter me from pursuing my goal. I have actually become more determined.
“Age is also something I have to consider and, so, if an opportunity comes along, I have to utilise it because you never know, you may not get that chance again.
“This year I didn’t compete in any events because I just wanted to concentrate on qualifying for the Olympics, so I’m channelling all my energy on qualifying events.”
However, Jari said there is need for the national association, and other stakeholders, to come on board and support their efforts towards qualification instead of waiting to intervene when they have qualified.