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Zimbabwe athletes seraching for medals in Algiers (2)
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21:24, July 10, 2007

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It, however, also emerged that one of the major reasons that forced SASCOC to postpone the flight was a problem they had encountered with the South African Football Association over their Under-23 team to the Games.

The athletes, most of whom had been preparing under the winter conditions prevailing at home, will now have to adjust to the heat in Algiers where temperatures hover between 28-30 degrees.

The Games, Africa''s biggest sports sporting event in which Zimbabwe are competing in 17 of the 28 disciplines on show, will be officially opened on Thursday.

But competition got underway in some disciplines yesterday such as women football with South Africa''s Banyana Banyana dating heavyweights Nigeria, just hours after their arrival.

Zimbabwe''s contingent to the Games will increase to 114 with the expected arrival of the second batch tomorrow which includes the women''s basketball team, more members of the athletics team, chef de mission Charles Nhemachena, Zimbabwe Olympic Committee chief executive Robert Mutsauki and other officials.

South Africa, with 514 athletes and Nigeria, with a strong 600-member delegation, have some of the biggest groups here while the likes of Swaziland with 20 and Mozambique (50) provide some of the smaller teams.

The athletes were upon arrival immediately divided into different groups according to their categories and were whisked away to various Games villages scattered around Algiers, a move that has affected co-ordination and the smooth flow of information between Kachambwa''s management committee, coaches and players.

The bulk of the competitions will, however, take place at the July V stadium, which has been refurbished and turned into a fully fledged sports complex.

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