Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
NATIONAL Athletics Association of Zimbabwe say they will keep monitoring the situation to see if it’s possible to send their representative to the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, in October.
The race was initially scheduled for the end of March but it is now expected to take place on October 17.
The national association had picked, Fortunate Chidzivo, when the race was postponed.
The South Africa-based long distance runner is one of the athletes targeted for qualification for the Olympic Games. And she indicated the World Half marathon was key towards her build-up for the resumption of qualifying events to the Olympic Games.
NAAZ president, Tendai Tagara, noted they will be engaging the Sports and Recreation Commission for clearance while they will continue to monitor the circumstances.
“We are just sending Chidzivo, that is, if the conditions are right. We are seeking authority from the Sports and Recreation Commission,’’ said Tagara.
“But we are also still monitoring the situation, then we will write to the Sports Commission next week.
“If we get the green light she will go. She has requested she would want to go and is ready to travel.
“The challenge is that we are still struggling to find flights.’’
The NAAZ president said the return of the Diamond League, expected next month, as well as the World Half marathon in October, will help give them a better picture of the direction the sport will take.
“The success of the World Half marathon will open for other races,’’ said Tagara.
“It’s a very tough situation because, right now, the situation is not showing signs of changing.
“End of August, there will be the Diamond League and so forth, so, all of these will give us an indication of where we are going, the success of those events will give us a better picture.
“But, we still remain guided by the Ministry. At the moment, it’s difficult to plan for the future clearly.’’
The World Athletics and the Local Organising Committee of the World Half Marathon Championships launched a new initiative for this year’s edition — a virtual mass race on the same day the event will be taking place in Gdynia.
The aim is to encourage runners, all around the world, to run a half marathon wherever they are on October 17.
Tagara said it’s a noble idea and they will engage the Athletes Commission for consideration.