Zim marathon trio fails to get Olympics medals

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Harare Bureau

TEAM Zim­babwe will have to wait for an­other four years to try their luck for a medal at the Olympic Games af­ter yet an­other bar­ren out­ing in Brazil.

The trio of Cuth­bert Nyasango, Wir­i­mai Juwawo and Par­don Ndhlovu con­cluded the coun­try’s bid for a podium fin­ish yes­ter­day when they bat­tled it out in the men’s marathon in Rio.

Ndhlovu fin­ished on po­si­tion 41 in 2 hours 17 min­utes 48 sec­onds and Nyasango fin­ished 58th in 2 hours 18min­utes 58 sec­onds in a field of 155 ath­letes.

Juwawo was among the 15 ath­letes that did not fin­ish the race.

Ndhlovu ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the re­sults and noted that there is still room for im­prove­ment.

“I’m feel­ing pretty good and I think I am proud in the way I ex­e­cuted the race. I had a plan in mind and then I just fol­lowed it.

“Of course it’s a marathon and any­thing can hap­pen be­cause the mid­dle miles were a lit­tle bit tough, es­pe­cially 18, 19 and 20 where I started cramp­ing. I had a rough patch but I was able to just keep on push­ing and I got out of it and started push­ing to­wards the end and just look­ing for­ward. “So I am pretty ex­cited that I fin­ished top 50 in a tough race. The con­di­tions were un­favourable es­pe­cially for a marathon. But I think it’s a great achieve­ment and it just opened doors for a lot of room of im­prove­ment as we go for­ward,” said Ndhlovu. The race was won by Kenya’s Eliud Kip­choge in 2 hours 8 min­utes 44 sec­onds and Ethiopia’s Fey­isa Lilesa was se­cond in 2 hours 9 min­utes 54 sec­onds. United States’ Galen Rupp took third po­si­tion in 2 hours 10 min­utes 5 sec­onds. Nyasango, who fin­ished sev­enth at the 2012 London Games said he was happy to have fin­ished the race and rep­re­sent­ing the na­tion to his level best. “It was very tough, the con­di­tions were tough. You can’t train for this type of con­di­tions but it was tough. I am happy I fin­ished, I man­aged to do my best, so I am just happy. I am proud my­self. “My strat­egy was to push af­ter 30km but my body did not re­spond to that, so there was noth­ing I could have done from there. It was very tough. “Rain­ing is al­ways tough, you can’t pre­pare for that. In Zim­babwe its win­ter a n d then you come here it’s above 20 de­grees (tem­per­a­tures) and hu­mid. So it’s a lit­tle bit tough but you can’t com­plain be­cause ev­ery­one was run­ning in the same con­di­tions,” said Nyasango. Asked on his pre­vi­ous per­for­mance in London, Nyasango said he did not put him­self un­der pres­sure go­ing into yes­ter­day’s race. “We are pro­fes­sion­als we don’t put a lot of pres­sure on our­selves. You do what you can do on the day of the race and put your 100 per­cent. If your 100 per­cent is not enough then you have to go and ad­just again,” Nyasango said.

Just like the 2012 London Games, Team Zim­babwe is com­ing back home empty handed de­spite field­ing the big­gest con­tin­gent since in­de­pen­dence, of 31 ath­letes, in­clud­ing a foot­ball team.

Zim­babwe also com­peted in archery, eques­trian, row­ing, shoot­ing and swim­ming.

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