Mpofu hailed for a magnificent Boston Marathon run

Curtworth Masango

REIGNING Athlete of the Year, Isaac Mpofu, has been hailed by the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe president Tendayi Tagara after a remarkable sixth place finish in the Boston Marathon in the United States on Monday.

Mpofu crossed the finish line in two hours eight minutes and 17 seconds to beat his last year’s record of two hours and 14 minutes which saw him finishing ninth.

Mpofu has already booked his place for this year’s Olympic Games to be held in Paris, France, and proved his mettle again by finishing within the Olympics qualifying time in Boston.

In an interview, Tagara told Zimpapers Sports: “The Boston Marathon is one of the toughest marathons in the USA considering it’s not a fast course. To see Mpofu achieving this feat is brilliant for the country, association, himself, and any other person that has to do with athletics.

“I wasn’t expecting him to finish within such an incredible time considering his performance the last time he was there. But besides the race being star-studded, he finished in the top 10 with a good time that is enough for the Olympics qualifications.

“I think since 2019, Isaac has been battle-hardened. Every moment he is running you can see that the athlete is now mature. He has already adopted the same mindset that we saw in Cuthbert Nyasango.

“As a coach and former athlete, I say that is the mindset I wouldn’t want to see any other athlete from the country adopting. And now my biggest prayer is to see the boy free from injuries and any other impediments before he goes to Paris.

“Now there are two races set to be run before the Olympics with the other one in the Netherlands. We are hoping to see four of our athletes book themselves a place at the Olympics”.

Tagara also argued that the biggest thing that the association can lobby for athletes is to create a conducive environment for them.

“Our focus over the years is to create a conducive environment that allows players to develop. If a player develops well and reaches his or her potential all greater things shall come.

“Isaac is such a kind of athlete who heeds our call not to look much into the little allowances that we offer but to focus on the bigger picture.

“Even in America, the association is keen on creating a conducive environment for athletes to propel them and then they make big amounts of money through endorsements and performing well on the big stage,” he said.


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