BULAWAYO province is confident of retaining the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) cross country championships title when they host this year’s competition at Hillside Dam this weekend. BY FORTUNE MBELE
Naaz will use the competition to select athletes who will represent the country in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country on March 26 at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, Uganda.
Bulawayo Athletics Board (BAB) chairman, Manuel Mpofu yesterday confirmed the weekend competition, saying they were expecting about 400 athletes to take part in the race, which includes seniors (men and women) — 10km, juniors (men) — 8km, women — 8km, mixed relay —8km, and cadets — 2,5km.
“We are ready to host the competition, which will be held on February 12. We have inspected the course and are satisfied everything is in place. As Bulawayo province, we are confident of retaining the trophy,” he said.
Bulawayo came out tops on points in last year’s event, with the senior men’s 10km race won by Mashonaland West’s Jacob Mugomeri, while the senior women’s race was won by Harare’s Olivia Chitate.
Harare’s Constance Nyasango came second in the senior women’s section, while Bertha Chikanga of Mashonaland East came third.
Bulawayo’s hopefuls in this year’s competition are Trust Chidomaya (senior men) and Dumo Mkhwananzi, who last year came second in the juniors, but will this year feature in the seniors’ category.
They also have hope in Barberton Mhlanga (senior men) and Sandra and Cynthia Taderera, Patience Gurure, Anne Chivisa and Brenda Banda in the senior women category.