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Zim Olympic hopefuls still in qualifying phase

12 Mar, 2020 - 00:03 0 Views

The Herald

Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S chef de mission to the 2020 Olympic Games, Thabani Gonye, says they are confident a number of their targets will qualify for the showcase.

Only rowing has, so far, qualified for a slot in the men single scull.

Most of the earmarked sport codes are still in the qualification process and boxing failed to make it at the continental qualifier in Senegal last month.

Athletics, equestrian, judo, golf, swimming and rugby are some of the sport codes likely to provide athletes for the Games.

The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee have been working with the national associations in pursuit of qualification.

They have assisted some of them to hold camps as part of preparations for the qualifying competitions.

Gonye said they are looking at having about 10 athletes, from individual sport codes, at the Games.

Athletics is one of the disciplines expected to provide more athletes while rugby sevens will have their last attempt at the Olympic repechage in June.

The Cheetahs missed automatic qualification last year when they came third at the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens in South Africa.

“In terms of athletics, we are still expecting four to five people to qualify,’’ said Gonye.

“We are also still expecting one athlete from judo to qualify.

“At least, in rowing, we are certain that we are going to have one who has qualified a slot, so it’s a matter of which athlete will win that slot to make the final team.’’

Gonye, who is also the ZOC vice president, said they have gone a step further, where they would normally support the national associations after they had qualified, by trying to get them produce athletes for the Games.

“Where, normally, we would support the national federations of the athletes after they had qualified, what we have done, I think for the past few months or a year, is we have gone in where we feel there is a possibility of somebody qualifying.

“We have supported some of the qualifying events, in terms of funding them,” Gonye said.

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