By Ellina Mhlanga
ZIMBABWE could be represented by one of the country’s smallest contingents at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Five years ago, the country sent 31 athletes, and 26 officials, in what was one of its biggest groups at the world’s biggest sports showcase.
Zimbabwean athletes qualified, and competed, in seven sporting disciplines — athletics, archery, equestrian, football, rowing, shooting and swimming.
Football, being a team sport, contributed the biggest number of 18 players with 13 athletes competing in the other different sport codes.
In 2012 in London, Zimbabwe had seven athletes for athletics, rowing and swimming.
So far, rowing is the only sport code that has qualified.
The other targeted disciplines — athletics, boxing, equestrian, golf, judo, rugby and swimming — are still in the qualifying phase.
One of the glaring cases, where failure to get proper support stifles growth, remains the sad story of the Mighty Warriors.
After making history, by becoming the first team to qualify for the Olympics, nothing was done to support them to be in a position to challenge for qualification again.
Failure to build on their success saw the senior women side’s standards drop and they could not fulfil their home fixture against Zambia, during the qualifiers, because of some outstanding issues between them and ZIFA.