By Ellina Mhlanga
IT appears local distance runners that are seeking qualification to the Olympics continue to suffer setbacks with indications those that were set to compete at the Copenhagen marathon can no longer take part in the race scheduled for May.
The race is set to take place on May 16.
Zimbabwe were hoping to field some of their athletes chasing qualification to the Olympics in the race.
The targeted athletes are being assisted by Collen Makaza and Cephas Pasipamire.
Makaza has been working with some of his links in Demark for the athletes to take part since competitions are limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But on Monday, he said they are no longer sending athletes and will continue looking for other options.
“We were hoping we can take part in the Copenhagen race but they also want a limited number of elite athletes.
“The other challenge is the conditions to participate. It’s tricky because of Covid-19 and we are supposed to handle everything on our own when we get there. So this one is out because we don’t want to take a risk with the athletes.
“So it was one of the races we were targeting. But now we are looking at India also, they have the Mumbai marathon. But the challenge is the weather, it’s hot. So it’s going to affect them (athletes). In Europe we had a better chance,” Makaza said.
The men’s marathon qualifying time is 2hours 11minutes 30seconds and for women it’s 2 hours 29minutes 30seconds.
The closing date for qualification in marathon is May 31 and Makaza says time is not on their side.
They are now also hoping the plans by some of the Southern Region countries, including Zimbabwe, to come together and host some qualifying events for their athletes to succeed and they will have a race in the region.
“I think they will organise. The best place will be South Africa,” said Makaza.