22 athletes to represent Bulawayo Athletics track

Innocent Kurira, [email protected] 

TWENTY-TWO athletes will represent Bulawayo at the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) inter-provincial championships to be held at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare.

The two-day event gets underway on Friday, with all of the country’s provinces expected to send teams. 

Bulawayo’s squad is made up of 10 men and 12 women’s athletes.

Esnath Sibanda (17) who ran her best time of 19 minutes 07 seconds in the 5 000m at the Africa Under-18 Junior Championships in Zambia last month, is among the medal hopefuls for Bulawayo. 

Though she finished in overall eighth position in Zambia, her performance at the big stage is evidence of a bright future.

Sibanda competes in 800m where her best time is two minutes six seconds.

Lesedi Nkomo will also seek to improve her 5 000m best time of 20 minutes 07 seconds.

Alpha Mpofu carries the men’s hopes and has to be at his best to match up to one of the country’s fastest 400m athletes Garren Muwishi who ran 46.76 seconds at last weekend’s meet held at White City Stadium. Mpofu’ best time in 400m is 49.00 seconds.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo Athletics Board (Bab) chairperson Watson Madanyika said they are wrapping up their preparations ahead of their trip to the capital.

“We are placing the final touches on our preparation for the national event. The squad is already finalised and training ahead of the Harare meet. Some of our athletes had an opportunity to measure the level of performances at the event we hosted this past weekend. We are confident in the team we have selected and we are looking forward to bringing home a number of gold medals,” said Madanyika. 

Watson Madanyika

Naaz is hoping these events will assist improve athletes’ times as the date for the 2023 World Athletics Championships to take place in Budapest, Hungary is fast approaching. The World Championships are set for August 19-27.

Just like in 2019 and 2022, athletes will be able to qualify for the World Championships by achieving entry standard or through their placing on the world rankings. 

Qualifying times for the 100m events for men and women are 10.00 seconds and 11.08 seconds respectively. 

For 10 000m, athletes will have to clock 27 minutes 10.00 seconds for men and 30 minutes 40.00 seconds, with the 5 000m events’ qualifying times being 13 minutes 07.00 seconds (men) and 14 minutes 57.00 seconds (women).

For marathon, the qualifying times are 2 hours 9 minutes 40 seconds for men and 2 hours 28minutes for women.

Team Bulawayo

Men: Mzi Ncube (400m), Basil Jele (400m), Mengezi Sibanda (10 000m), Amos Moyo (100m), Alpha Mpofu (200m), Shayne Makota (800m), Jabulani Ncube (800m), Mandisi Mdlongwa (400mh), Ryan Ncube (Triple Jump), Mzimazisi Mabaso (High Jump)

Women: Beverly Bhengeza (100m), Nozipho Dube (1 500m), Amanda Wheta (1 500m), Esnath Ndlovu (1 500m), Lesedi Nkomo (5 000m), Nomathemba Tshuma (100mh), Rejoice Kuchicha (800m), Onyechukwu Onovo (High Jump), Zinzile Gumpo (100mh)

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