Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
ATHLETICS coach David Tinago is convinced they have covered most of the groundwork ahead of some of the qualifying competitions for the 2020 Olympic Games they are considering to compete in.
Tinago has been working with the likes of Ngoni Makusha, Tatenda Tsumba, Itai Vambe and Dickson Kamungeremu towards qualification for the Olympic Games. They were then joined by Dickson Kapandura and Norman Mukwada for a month-long training camp in South Africa.
The camp was facilitated by the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee in support of athletes aiming qualification for the Games in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9.
They had their first competition over the weekend when they took part in the Harare Athletic Board track and field championships which they used to gauge their state of preparedness.
Tinago said based on the athletes’ times they posted during the meet, its looking promising but pointed out some of the areas they still need to polish up for each athlete.
“Our first race was good and I was happy with the times. Ngoni Makusha just need to work on his last phase of the race and also he managed to run his personal best in the 300m race.
“On Tatenda Tsumba we need to work on his first phase of his race and on Dickson Kamungeremu we need to work on his middle phase and also finishing part of the race. He (Kamungeremu) also managed to run his personal best time in the 300m race.
“On Norman Mukwada we need to work on his first phase of his race and also build some confidence in him competing with the seniors as this is his first year as a senior.
And on Itai Vambe we need to work on his middle phase and last phase of his race. He ran a good time in the 100m race.
“They are in range for qualification for the Olympics if they are injury free and if they manage to attend international meets, I am sure they will qualify.
“So far everything has been going on course and everything we have been targeting we have been able to achieve them and also we have been able to work on our weaknesses from the previous season,” said Tinago.
Tinago said some of the things they have been aiming at include improving their training sessions, the level of intensity in their workouts as well as having the athletes stay injury free and at the moment it’s looking good.
“This season has been really a good season for the boys based on the build-up.
Our base has been really good compared to the previous seasons and also there have been huge improvements.
Now all we look forward to is the next phase, which is the competition phase.
“If we are able to get assistance in having another training camp and I am sure the athletes will deliver.
“The preparation is going on well and on point and we would only need support as we have to pay for use of facilities as it’s expensive for the boys.
So we are minimising some sessions but overall the athletes are looking good,” Tinago added.
Qualification period for most events runs until June 29 while for marathon the deadline is May 31.