Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
TEAM Zimbabwe in Lesotho will get their campaign at the African Union Sport Council Region Five Youth Games underway today with taekwondo, volleyball and gymnastics up for competition.
The Regional Games are running until December 12.
Other sport codes Zimbabwe is competing in include boxing, volleyball, swimming and judo.
Football men and women, netball, basketball men and women, and athletics for the visually impaired teams were dropped after they failed to meet Covid-19 requirements.
This was after the team was given new appearance measures and among those measures athletes had to be fully vaccinated, produce a negative PCR test and must not have come into contact with anyone who has been positive.
And for the dropped sport codes, there were high numbers of positive tests including coaches that had come in contact with athletes.
It was a blow for Team Zimbabwe and the athletes that were looking forward to be part of the Games.
Zimbabwe will be hoping to pick some medals in those sport codes that are representing the nation in Maseru.
Taekwondo is fielding five athletes — Tinotenda Kufandirori, Dorcus Matwaya, Marshall Gono, Kudakwashe Taranhike and Darlington Simango.
For gymnastics that began yesterday, Zimbabwe is fielding only one athlete and will be up for competition today as well.
Zimbabwe’s boys volleyball team has two matches lined-up for today against Lesotho and Botswana.
Member in charge of media liaison and publicity for Team Zimbabwe, Ranson Madzamba, said athletes are raring to go. The different sport codes took advantage of the few days they have before competition to polish up on different aspects.
“I can confirm they are indeed jovial and ready to scoop awards for the nation.
“Gymnastics, volleyball, boxing and swimming were having their training. Judo, they have been training as well,” said Madzamba.
Other sport codes such as basketball got underway yesterday while football kicked-off on Wednesday.
Swimming and tennis begin tomorrow. Eleven athletes are expected to compete in swimming and the tennis team is made up of three players.
Yesterday Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, participated in the tree planting ceremony which is part of the Games.
The Games are running under the theme Unite, Rise and Build.
The team was scheduled to attend the official opening ceremony yesterday evening.
The Game were supposed to take place last year but were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.