All eyes on Nyasango, Juwawo, Ndlovu for Team Zim

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - El­lina Mh­langa Harare Bu­reau

CAN Team Zim­babwe sal­vage some­thing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, which come to a close in the South Amer­i­can coun­try to­mor­row?

Af­ter yet an­other bar­ren Games, all eyes will be fixed on the trio of Cuth­bert Nyasango, Wir­i­mai Juwawo and Par­don Ndlovu, who will take to the road in the men’s marathon, which is part of the clos­ing events to­mor­row.

The task is now left to the three long dis­tance run­ners and speak­ing from Brazil, Na­tional Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe pres­i­dent, Tendai Ta­gara, who trav­elled as the ath­let­ics team man­ager hinted that it’s not go­ing to be any easy task.

“Nyasango and Juwawo are bat­tle hard­ened cadres. They have been train­ing to­gether hence can push each other and they can stand the heat. But be­cause of the weather I can see slow times.

“Par­don is also in good shape and he will def­i­nitely do well,” said Ta­gara.

Only seven time Olympic medal­list Kirsty Coven­try and rower Micheen Thorny­croft of­fered Zim­babwe a glim­mer of hope of hav­ing a podium fin­ish.

Al­though she could not match the pace of young ath­letes in her swan­song Olympics, to her credit Coven­try bat­tled hard to reach the fi­nals of the 200m back­stroke where she came sixth.

The swim­ming icon who has won seven of Zim­babwe’s eight Olympic medals also reached the semi-fi­nals of the 100m back­stroke.

Thorny­croft, mak­ing her sec­ond ap­pear­ance at the Games, was out­stand­ing in the women’s sin­gle sculls when she bat­tled her way to the fi­nal B and was po­si­tioned 11th out of 32 ath­letes.

The 29-year-old rower had made it to the semi-fi­nal A/B1 but had to qual­ify for fi­nal A to be in a po­si­tion to com­pete for a podium fin­ish.

While Coven­try and Thorny­croft man­aged to go be­yond their heats, the same can­not be said for the rest of Team Zim­babwe.

The Mighty War­riors, who made their Olympic de­but were elim­i­nated in group stages when they lost all the Group F matches against Ger­many, Canada and Aus­tralia de­spite putting a spir­ited fight to the end.

Camilla Kruger com­pleted the in­di­vid­ual event in eques­trian on po­si­tion 35 on the fi­nal stand­ings out of the 45 ranked par­tic­i­pants with a to­tal score of 111.80.

An­drew Pee­bles took first po­si­tion in the men’s sin­gle sculls E fi­nal af­ter fail­ing to make di­rect qual­i­fi­ca­tion into the main fi­nals and fin­ished over­all 25.

An­other swim­mer, Sean Gunn came sec­ond in heat two of the men’s 100m freestyle in 50.87s but could not qual­ify for the semi-fi­nals. His over­all rank­ing is 48.

Gavin Suther­land was ranked 64 in archery with a score of 566 while Michael Ni­chol­son fin­ished 19th in the dou­ble trap shoot­ing with 119 points.

Ath­let­ics had six ath­letes with Gabriel Mvumvure and Ta­tenda Tsumba fight­ing for hon­ours in the men’s 100m and 200m re­spec­tively but they both could not stand the heat,

Mvumvure came sev­enth in heat five for the 100m in 10.28s while Tsumba set­tled for po­si­tion six in the 200m in 21.04s.

Fe­male long dis­tance-run­ner, Ru­tendo Nya­hora fin­ished on po­si­tion 92 in 2hrs 47mins 32sec in the women’s marathon. Com­ment­ing on ath­let­ics, Ta­gara said al­though they had ex­pected bet­ter re­sults from the three ath­letes that have so far com­pleted their events, it all goes down to re­sources.

“Ath­let­ics is about train­ing and com­pet­ing and it boils down to re­sources. We just have to have close re­la­tion­ships with our neigh­bour­ing coun­tries who are per­form­ing, a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude and 120 per­cent com­mit­ment to train­ing on our ath­letes. It takes great com­mit­ment to be at that level.

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