Nyasango, Juwawo set to impress in Rio
SEASONED long distance-runners Cuthbert Nyasango and Wirimai Juwawo return to the Olympic Games this weekend hoping to leave an impression when they compete in the men’s marathon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday.
Both athletes will be making their second appearance at the Games. They are expected to leave for Brazil tomorrow.
They will be joined by United Statesbased Pardon Ndhlovu, who will be making his maiden appearance.
Nyasango and Juwawo put up an incredible performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games when they finished seventh and 15th respectively.
However, it remains to be seen if the two athletes will be able to pull another surprise in Rio.
Nyasango yesterday said he is geared for the race before adding that he is looking forward to representing his country for the second time at the global sporting showcase.
“I have been training as usual, there are no major changes. I am now focusing more on the race and there is a lot that goes on when running.
I am just thinking of those things beyond my control such as the weather, wind and other athletes.
“As always I want to do my best, go out there and represent my country to my level best. This is the highest level of sport and you always expect the toughest competition. Everyone there qualified, so it’s going to be tough,” said Nyasango.
Zimbabwe will be fielding a full team for the men’s marathon for the first time and Nyasango said it’s a good sign for the sport.
“As always it’s important when we go as a team. It means as a country we are in the right direction, it means we are doing well,” said Nyasango. Juwawo said although he had an outstanding performance in 2012, it’s going to be difficult in Rio. In 2012 he ran 2 hours 12 minutes 08 seconds in London and his qualification time for this year’s Games is 2hours 14minutes 25seconds. “It’s difficult to say whether we will surpass the previous performance or not because everyone there ran 2 hours 19mins, which was the qualifying time or less. So it’s going to be difficult. After watching the women’s race on Sunday it seems the competition is going to be tough. “But I am excited to represent my country again this year,” said Juwawo. In the women’s section, Rutendo Nyahora, who was the only representative for Zimbabwe finished on position 92 last Sunday. In an interview with Zimpapers’ Spencer Banda, Nyahora said her next target is the World championships next year in London and remains optimistic of another appearance at the Olympics in 2020, in Tokyo, Japan. “I qualified for the World championships for next year and I am looking forward to it. And that I will do much better there in London. “I am going to Tokyo. I am 100 percent sure because I am confident because four years back I used to tell people that I am going to run in Rio and here I am in Rio. The next stop is Tokyo,” said Nyahora. All hopes are now on the trio of Nyasango, Juwawo and Ndhlovu to raise the country’s flag high as sprinter Tatenda Tsumba failed to make the grade to progress to the next round in the men’s 200m yesterday. Tsumba came sixth in 21.04 seconds in heat six. Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade was first in 20.15 seconds, followed by Adam Gemili of Great Britain in 20.20 seconds. They are the two athletes from this hit who proceeded to the semi-finals.