Olympic Games preparations continue

Ellina Mhlanga

Senior Sports Reporter 

THE major concern for the home-based athletes targeting the Olympics, appears to be the need to assist them to return to training and access training facilities. 

The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee and national associations, earmarked for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification, met recently. 

Most of the targeted athletes are in the qualifying phase and still require support, in various forms, to enable them to make the qualifying standards. 

The virtual meeting was attended by Zimbabwe Aquatics Union, Zimbabwe Boxing Federation, Zimbabwe Golf Association, Judo Association of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Rugby Union and Rowing Association of Zimbabwe. 

The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe could not join the meeting but sent their updated report. 

Zimbabwe’s chef de mission for the Games, Thabani Gonye, said ZOC were committed to assisting the national associations with supporting letters for their applications for exemption to allow local-based athletes to train. 

“Also NFs/NSAs made requests for funding support to regional training camps and preparation competitions. 

‘’For foreign-based athletes, the support required was funding for planned qualification events. 

“ZOC committed to provide supporting letters to SRC, for local training for local-based athletes, on a training bubble (concept). 

‘’ZOC also committed to, as best as possible within its capacity, to support viable planned preparation activities,and qualification events, which NFs/NSAs’ shared on their updates,” said Gonye. 

They are also looking at engaging Government, through the Sports Commission, for support. 

Gonye, who is also the ZOC vice president, said they remain committed to ensuring the country will take part at the Games. 

“ZOC remains committed for Team Zimbabwe’s participation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, as guided by the IOC and support from the Zimbabwean government,” said Gonye. 

They also looked at various issues, including administration updates, such as accreditation, guidelines and deadlines, estimated team size, based on the long list qualification chances indicators, as well as Covid-19 counter measures and vaccinations, as guided by the International Olympic Committee. 

So far, rowing have qualified for a slot in the men’s single scull while the rest of the targeted sport codes are still vying for qualification. 

The next meeting, between the national associations and the National Olympic Committee, is scheduled for this coming Saturday.

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