THE athletics season took off at the weekend with Chengetayi Mapaya of St George’s College putting up a remarkable performance in the national track and field championships when he broke his record in triple jump at the National Sports Stadium.
Mapaya was outstanding during the event with a leap of 15.01m, surpassing his previous performance of 14.92m, posted at the COSSASA championships held last year in Lesotho.
National juniors coach, Silas Muringani, said they were satisfied with the turnout as they had between 120 to 150 athletes taking part before adding that they are looking forward to a successful year with a number of international events lined up including the World Junior Championships in Russia and the Olympics.
“The turnout was fair considering that it was the first event of the season. The event was good as quality times were posted particularly with the youth and juniors.
“I think we may be on course as the early competition will give the coaches ample time to work with their athletes focusing not only on Russia but the Olympics as well.
“We might get one or two of our juniors qualifying for Rio,” said Muringani.
NAAZ president, Tendai Tagara, said they were going to be staging two national events every month rotating between Harare and Bulawayo as part of their preparations for the Olympics and other major events.
“This is part of our preparations for the Olympics, Region Five Games in Angola, Southern Africa championships in Botswana, World Junior championships and the Africa Senior championships.
“We have targeted two major national events every month organised by NAAZ — one in Bulawayo and the other one in Harare.
“So our next track and field event will be in Bulawayo. We are identifying athletes for various categories, that’s the juniors, youths and the seniors. These events will culminate into the super eight where we have the best eight athletes competing with each other, we will have an A and B group depending on their times,” Tagara said.