World qualification waiver for Zim wrestlers
ZIMBABWE wrestlers who will compete at the annual African Wrestling championships scheduled for Morocco in March next year will automatically qualify for the subsequent World Championships to be staged in France five months later.
Normally, fighters who win medals during the African championships are the only ones who proceed to the World Championships.
But Zimbabwean contestants will only need to be part and parcel of the wrestling fiesta in Morocco to book their ticket to France after the country’s wrestling mother body, the Zimbabwe Wrestling Federation, was rewarded for “exceptional presentation on junior wrestling development” at the United World Wrestling congress in France last month.
ZWF secretary-general Tapiwa Masinire confirmed the development and said his organisation will pull out all the stops to ensure that the country is well represented at the world stage.
“I can confirm that Zimbabwe wrestlers have been given a World Championships qualification bye.
“Instead of having to win a medal at the continental championships, wrestlers from Zimbabwe will just have to contest as participation is now the only requirement for them to compete in France.
“The waiver was proposed by the United World Wrestling general assembly member Yadin Yasky of Turkey who felt that what the country was doing in terms of promoting wrestling was too good to ignore.
“She was duly seconded by her colleagues. So we have to take advantage of the bye to send more participants to the World Championships.
“However, we will try by all means to send only competitive fighters to the tournament because we will not want a situation whereby we send a lot of wrestlers but few or none of them win medals for the country,” said Masinire.
Zimbabwe have already started preparing for the Morocco games with Masinire saying they have lined up a lot of Open tournaments before the year comes to a close.