Zoc hopes for fair winds to Buenos Aires

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SPORT - Brighton Zhawi

WITH 342 days un­til the third Youth Olympic Games come to life in Buenos Aires the Zim­babwe Olympic Com­mit­tee has urged na­tional sport as­so­ci­a­tions to be on their toes.

Over 4 000 ath­letes aged be­tween 15 and 18 are ex­pected to gather in Ar­gentina’s cap­i­tal from October 6-18 next year for the show­case.

Zim­babwe plans to hoist its flag in the South Amer­i­can metropole and the coun­try’s Olympic com­mit­tee says 11 sport­ing codes have ex­pressed in­ter­est in the Games.

“ZOC has re­ceived re­sponses and in­put from 11 sport codes, namely aquatics, archery, ath­let­ics, beach vol­ley­ball, eques­trian, golf, karate, row­ing, ten­nis, triathlon and the team sport of Rugby 7’s,” said ZOC chief ex­ec­u­tive Anna Mguni.

“As­so­ci­a­tions must en­sure that they work closely with their ath­letes in terms of preparation and qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Train­ing and com­pe­ti­tion as well as the req­ui­site sup­port ser­vices must be pro­vided at the high­est avail­able level.”

The third Youth Olympic Games will in­clude new codes like climb­ing and BMX freestyle.

“The Youth Olympic Games qual­i­fi­ca­tion dead­line for team sports is June 2018 and for in­di­vid­ual sports is July 2018,” said Mguni. “It is im­por­tant to note, as di­rected by each in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tions qual­i­fi­ca­tion stan­dards, that there are lim­its to the num­bers that will be per­mit­ted from each code and coun­try, and in some in­stances, per con­ti­nent.

“The na­tional as­so­ci­a­tions con­sulted have pro­vided es­ti­mates in line with the lim­its set by the in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tion, their ath­letes will be ex­pected to take part in qual­i­fi­ca­tion events be­tween now and the qual­i­fi­ca­tion cut-off date.”

Dou­ble Olympic cham­pion Kirsty Coven­try will be the team’s chef de mis­sion and Mguni reck­ons the swim­ming icon brings much needed ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Kirsty has ap­proached this as­sign­ment with the high level of com­mit­ment that is her trade­mark.

She is in­volved in the ac­tiv­i­ties and de­ci­sions to date, as man­dated by her role.

Her ex­pe­ri­ence as an Olympian is un­doubt­edly in­valu­able and will be the prime as­set through­out this as­sign­ment,” said Mguni.

Anna Mguni

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