Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
VETERAN athletics coach Themba Mhlophe is excited to have two of his athletes in the Bulawayo Metropolitan provincial side for the National Association of Secondary Heads athletics finals set for Peterhouse in Marondera on Thursday and Friday.
Mhlophe is confident the duo of Esnath Ndlovu and Lesedi Nkomo will bring home gold medals.
Ndlovu (17) is set to participate in the 800m and 1500m races.
Her best time in the 800m is 2 minutes, six seconds while her finest run in the 1 500m race has a time of 4 minutes 29 seconds.
Nkomo (20) is prolific in the 5 000m race where her best time is 20 minutes, 07 seconds.
Mhlophe is the mentor of the two who are learners at Mpopoma High School. He is coach of the girls at City Meats Athletics Club. Mhlophe is confident both will bring gold medals for Bulawayo at the nationals.
“As a coach I am excited to see the girls going to the national finals. It’s an honour to have them make the grade to be part of the Bulawayo team.
I expect nothing short of victory from both of them and the rest of team Bulawayo. The nationals will be a big challenge for the two but I am confident in them and have all the faith they can do well at national level.
“The two have been putting in the work and I have been pushing them so that we get the desired results which are gold medals.
As a coach, you are happy to see your athletes taking part in competitions of this magnitude. On its own that is evidence of the work that is being put in,” said Mhlophe.
The two-day nationals will be returning for the first time since 2019 owing to the disruption of sporting activities caused by Covid-19.
Bulawayo Metropolitan province only managed a ninth-place finish in 2019 with two gold, six silver and two bronze medals.
Harare Metropolitan are the defending champions having won the last edition of the national finals.
The 2019 champions scooped 15 gold medals, 11 silver and nine bronze. Masvingo province, which came second, had 11 gold, same number of silver and six bronze.
In third place were Mashonaland West with 11 gold, eight silver and 18 bronze. Manicaland had 11 gold, eight silver and 10 bronze, followed by Midlands with eight gold, six silver and five bronze.
In sixth place were Mashonaland East with five gold, eight silver and nine bronze, followed by Mashonaland Central with four gold and six silver and same number of bronze. Matabeleland South finished eighth place with three gold, five silver and four bronze while Matabeleland North anchored the table with one gold, two silver as well as two bronze. — @innocentskizoe