The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Nyahora targets 2024 Olympic Games qualificat­ion

- Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter

SOUTH Africa-based marathon runner Rutendo Nyahora says she has set her eyes on qualificat­ion for Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Nyahora is one of the athletes receiving support from Zimbabwe Olympic Committee outside the Olympic Scholarshi­ps as they hope for more athletes to qualify for the Games.

ZOC are working with the National Athletics Associatio­n of Zimbabwe to assist her pursue qualificat­ion for the Games.

“My main focus and plans for next year is to qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics.

“I know the journey is not going to be any easy one. But I have to be more focused and train smart.

“With the support I am getting from ZOC, SRC and NAAZ, I will definitely work hard and make them proud,”said Nyahora.

After running 2hours 32minutes at the Frankfurt Marathon last month, Nyahora believes she stands a chance to run the qualifying time of 2hours 26minutes 50seconds in the women’s category.

For men, the qualifying time is 2hours 8minutes 10seconds.

She had hoped to compete at the Berlin Marathon but missed the race before taking up the Frankfurt Marathon.

Nyahora is looking at competing at the Vienna City Marathon next April.

The South Africa-based runner was part of the team that represente­d the country at the 2016 Olympic Games. She qualified for the Games at the Vienna City Marathon in the same year and is hoping she can repeat the same feat when she competes in the race next year.

NAAZ president Tendayi Tagara said they would want to ensure Nyahora gets the necessary preparatio­ns ahead of the qualifying race.

“From December we want to work with her to make sure that she attends lead up competitio­ns. But there is no marathon now because we want her to have a full recovery after the Frankfurt Marathon.

“Remember Frankfurt Marathon is not a fast course. If we look at the Berlin Marathon more than 10 of the top females, they all qualified for the Olympics . . . But unfortunat­ely because of visa challenges she could not make it for the Berlin Marathon.

“Now our focus is Vienna in April. We want to make sure that she attends the race. We are also going to make sure she runs 10km, 21km, 30km (races) so that she tries to push for good times,” said Tagara.

They have also earmarked Nyahora to qualify for the African Games, in 10,000m.

And it will also serve as part of her preparatio­ns for the Vienna Marathon.

“We will also call her again to run for trials for the 10,000m because our hope is to send a 10,000m runner if they qualify for the African Games. So that competitio­n set for end of January, the final qualifying for the African Games, she will be here trying to run the 10,000m.

“Besides that she will also be running a lot of 10km, 21km in South Africa where we feel she has a better base in terms of running good times to qualify,” said Tagara.

Other marathon runners chasing qualificat­ion are Fortunate Chidzivo and Ngonidzash­e Ncube. Isaac Mpofu has already qualified for the Games.

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