Senior Sports Reporter
SPRINTER Ngoni Makusha, who left for Tokyo, Japan, yesterday says he is excited of what lies ahead at the 2020 Olympic Games.
Five athletes — Purcell-Gilpin, swimmers Donata Katai and Peter Wetzlar, golfer Scott Vincent and sprinter Makusha — are representing the country at the Tokyo Games
Team Zimbabwe gets their ball rolling today when Peter Purcell-Gilpi rowing competition begins at Sea Forest Waterway.
Purcell-Gilpin is competing in the men’s single sculls and competition gets underway with the heats today.
The Zimbabwean rower is up against Libya’s Alhussein Ghambour, Sverri Nielsen of Denmark, Kazakhstan’s Vladislav Yakovlev and Alberto di Mauro Gennaro of Italy in Heat Three. There are six heats for the men’s competition.
The Zimbabwean delegation has been travelling in batches and yesterday Makusha and his coach Lisimati Phakamile made the long haul to Asia. And the 17-year-old Katai will be Zimbabwe’s flag bearer at today’s opening ceremony. She is the first black Zimbabwean swimmer to take part in the Summer Games.
Although, Makusha is going on a universality card after the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe were offered the slot by World Athletics, and submitted his name, he is excited that he is making the trip to Tokyo.
“I feel good, I have prepared for this. I have worked hard for the past few weeks, I can say for the past four years just preparing for this moment. So I am feeling excited for what lies ahead,” said Makusha.
The athlete is ready to represent his country when he competes in the 100m event on July 31. “I am ready to represent the country and I am really happy that I am one of the five athletes that’s going to represent the country which is a huge achievement for me,” he said.
He also said he will not let Covid-19 fears dampen his mood at his maiden appearance at the Olympics.
“The Covid-19 cases in Japan are rising but honestly they are rising everywhere and we just have to take good care of ourselves and follow all the health procedures. I heard everything is strict there so I am not really worried,” he said.
Makusha was one of the Olympic Scholarships beneficiaries who chased qualification in the 100m and 200m events without success.
He says it was a relief to finally get that slot.
“I just told myself, no matter what, I have to keep pushing. I never lost any hope, I stayed positive, I knew what I wanted to achieve. To be honest, I wasn’’t expecting it.
“It’’s quite a relief and, even though I would have loved to qualify by qualifying time, I will still push on. “I’ve had help from quite a lot of people throughout this journey my coach David Tinago, my parents, teammates, this has really helped me a lot, to have a supporting team behind me,” said Makusha in an earlier interview with The Herald.