Chidzivo optimistic ahead of Enschede Marathon Fortunate Chidzivo

Ellina Mhlanga

Senior Sports Reporter

MARATHON runner Fortunate Chidzivo is stepping up her preparations towards qualification for the 2023 World Athletics Championships and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after she received an invitation to compete at the Enschede Marathon due to take place in the Netherlands on April 16.

The Enschede Marathon carries the World Athletics elite label and the invitation comes at a time the right time as she has been hoping to get another race before the qualification window for the World Championships closes.

Her last marathon was in December last year.

“I am going to try again on 16 April in the Netherlands and see what the outcome is.

“I just have two weeks more for training and then the next two weeks I will be tapering for the race because I am actually four weeks away now.

“So the other two weeks I will be still training and then the other two weeks I will be tapering,” said Chidzivo.

With Chidzivo chasing qualification for both the World Championships and the Olympic Games, she is hoping to qualify at the upcoming marathon or lower her time, targeting the 2024 Olympics in case she misses the world meet.

She is expected to move her training base to South Africa in June.

“So we have arranged with my manager to join a High Performance Centre in South Africa, despite the results, whether I qualify or I don’t qualify.

“We have arranged for me to join a High Performance Centre in Johannesburg, just to try something new to see if it can work.

“So after this, inspite of the results, qualifying or not qualifying, I am joining a High Performance Centre in Johannesburg. I think from June going forward,” said Chidzivo.

Her last marathon was in December 2022 when she ran the Malaga Marathon in Spain and clocked a time of 2hours 35minutes 5seconds.

“The reason why we are thinking of joining a High Performance Centre is we are trying to find where exactly we are going wrong because if we take our training programme and the goals in training, they all indicate that I should have qualified a long time back.

“But when it comes to race day, I just can’t translate the training into racing so that’s what is giving us this thinking of joining a High Performance Centre.

“The thing with a marathon is if you do something wrong, like just one percent of it, it messes up the whole race. So that’s what we are going to look at, that one percent, so that we work on it,” said Chidzivo.

Early this month she won the Century City 10km Express in South Africa.

The countdown to next year’s Paris Games has begun and Chidzivo said it’s a reminder to step up training and chasing the qualifying standards.

“It means we have to pull up our socks. We have to tie the shoes, we still need to qualify. So we still have a long way to go because after qualifying we have to prepare for the actual event. So I think it’s a sign to pull up our socks,” said Chidzivo.

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