Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
TECHNICAL teams for different sport codes have decided to subject athletes to more training hours as they bid to build endurance ahead of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games to be staged in Lilongwe, Malawi, early next month.
Malawi conditions are generally hotter and the young Zimbabwean athletes need to condition themselves to be able to retain maximum performance.
Zimbabwe will field about 205 athletes in 11 different sport codes, including athletics, basketball, boxing, E-Sports, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, basketball, athletics for the visually impaired, taekwondo and judo.
And for tennis coach, Athnie Chifamba, building endurance amongst the athletes will ensure they remain highly-competitive even in unfriendly conditions.
“We are not worried about our fitness levels, we are up there because we have been practicing all along. “We have been playing several tournaments and some of the players are actually based outside the country and they have the exposure and experience of playing different players from outside the country.
“They are ready to play and they know what is needed for them to achieve what ought to be achieved.
“It’s about the badge and the flag which has to be defended,” said Chifamba.
“The good thing is that the athletes are enjoying and they have been doing fitness exercises with basketball players.
“We should bring all the medals in tennis because we are going there with the creme de la crème of tennis in this country.
“We are hammering more on the physical part of things given these players should develop endurance given the unfavourably hotty conditions in Malawi.
“We are also investing more hours in training to build endurance”.
Tennis captain, Rufaro Magarira, said Zimbabwe will bring medals in this game back home.
“I am feeling very confident that Zimbabwe tennis players will do it in Malawi.
“Everyone is just trying to improve their style of tennis,” Magarira said.
“The thing that we are working on right now is to get used to the heat because Malawi is hotter. “We need to be mentally fit, pay attention to details and bring our A Game, we will never go wrong.”