Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
NATIONAL Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) president Tendai Tagara is confident that the country’s representatives will excel at the regional cross-country championships set for March 3 in Mauritius.
In an interview at the sidelines of the National Cross Country Championships held at Hillside Dams in Bulawayo on Saturday, Tagara said he was impressed with the improved times produced by the athletes.
“The turn up was very good and the competition was exciting. The organisation of the competition was on point and we are very pleased with that. The athletes also clocked improved times which is very positive.
“Going into the regional championships, we have finished in the top three in recent years at the regional competition so we will be looking to improve on that in Mauritus,” said Tagara.
Mashonaland West long distance runner Jacob Mugomeri won the ticket to represent the country at the regional cross country meet next month in Mauritius after finishing first in the senior men category.
Mugomeri crossed the finishing line in 31 minutes 21.06 seconds in the 10km Senior Men’s Race to beat a field of seasoned athletes that include Trust Chidomaya, Phathisa Ngwabi, Isaac Mpofu and Wellington Varevi who emerged second in a time of 31 minutes 31.71 seconds. Blessing Naison was third with a time of 31 minutes 35.52 seconds.
Mugomeri will be joined by Harare’s Rudo Mhonderwe who crossed the finishing line in 36 minutes 55.32 in the 10km senior women’s race. Patience Garuzive was second in 36 minutes and 48 seconds.
The athletes will also represent the country at the 5th African Cross Country Championships set for Algeria next month.
Tanaka Maraiwahoka from Harare won the 8km junior men’s race in a time of 26 minutes and 39.98 seconds. Godwin Katakura who hails from Bindura finished the race in 27 minutes and 02.18 seconds for a second place finish. In third place was Bulawayo’s Lucky Dube who managed to finish the race in 27 minutes and 16.21 seconds.
Elizabeth Ndlovu crossed the finishing line first in the 6km junior women’s race in a time of 22 minutes and 22 minutes 23.12 seconds. The junior champions will also take part at the regional championships. Bulawayo’s Faith Nyathi came second finishing the race in 23 minutes. In third place was Patience Moyo from Matabeleland South who finished in a time of 23 minutes 16.54 seconds.
The Junior category champions will join the senior’s at the regional championships.
The athletes will also represent the country at the 5th African Cross Country Championships set for Algeria next month.— @innocentskizoe