Zim marathon trio fails to get Olympics medals
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.