Zimbabwe has good chance at 2012 Olympic Games

19:36, July 05, 2010      

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Zimbabwean long-distance coach Benson Chauke believes the country stands a good chance of doing well at the 2012 Olympic Games in London if good preparations are put in place for the potential athletes, The Herald said on Monday.

With Stephen Muzhingi winning the Comrades marathon and his protege Cutbeth Nyasango holding his own in the European races, Chauke said lessons should also be learnt from the past when Tendai Chimusasa and Mike Fokorani showed the potential.

In particular, Chauke is confident that Nyasango has what its takes to bring glory to Zimbabwe from the 2012 London Games.

Chauke mentored Nyasango alongside Jane Makombe during the duo' s schooldays at Kuwadzana High.

"Nyasango is taking a break at the moment after running the Boston Marathon in April where he made 2 hours 12 minutes 40 seconds," he said.

Nyasango specialises in 10km and 21km and was just making his second attempt in the 42km.

"The first marathon was the Berlin Marathon last year and he finished in 2 hours 13 minutes 19 seconds but this does not mean that he is now taking up marathon.

"He is still doing the middle-distance races but will mix with smaller races.

"At 28 he is not going full-time into marathons but could be the right candidate for 2012," he said.

Nyasango has proved to be the leading athlete from Southern Africa in the International Athletics Association world championships over the last six years and had given stern tests to the East Africans.

But for athletes like Nyasango and Muzhingi to perform well for Zimbabwe, Chauke said corporate support should be visible.

Chauke said long-distance races were expensive for athletes to carry on their own.

Zimbabwean athletes are making waves in South African road races and Chauke said it' s this talent that has to be nurtured.

Chauke also pointed out the need for the athletes to be exemplary if they are to attract corporate support and has advised Muzhingi against taking South African citizenship.

Muzhingi said he is considering taking up South African citizenship after failing to get appreciation from Zimbabweans.

In South Africa, Muzhingi now has a kit sponsor following his success while top sprinter Talkmore Nyongani has a deal with Mizuno.

Poor administrations within the structures of sports in Zimbabwe, athletics included, have also been seen as driving away potential sponsors.

Source: Xinhua


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