AN explosive meeting is on the cards as top athletes from around the country battle it out in the Shabanie Mine 21km marathon next Sunday.
Kudakwashe Shoko, Marko Mambo, Lewis
Masunda and Wirimayi Zhuwawo are among the top long-distance runners who are expected to take part in the event, penciled in for the mining town.
The marathon, which has been dubbed the “Great Chrysotile Run”, will also see top female athletes who include Samukeliso Moyo, Margaret Mahohoma and Monica Mhaka taking part.
The trio is among the top female athletes to emerge from Zimbabwe and they have acquitted themselves well in long-distance running.
The technical advisor for Shabanie Mine Athletics Club William Chuwa said that they had organised the event to show that the asbestos they are mining is safer than other products like black fibre which have been banned.
“Shabanie Mine asbestos is safe,” said Chuwa. “If we close down the company what will happen to the dependants?” he asked.
The event has been sponsored to the tune of $1 million by Hilmax Company that deals with mining equipment.
“We have been sponsored by Hilmax Company,” Chuwa said. “We also have other co-sponsors who have pledged to assist in the event,” he added.
The event will also see primary school children taking part in a 5km race.
“We have also invited primary schools,” Chuwa said. “Already 10 primary schools have confirmed their participation,” he said.
Also organised for the day is a race for women and men who will feature in the 5km race as well as the Under-20 boys and girls who will feature in a 10km race.
“We have also organised a race for women and men,” he said “We are encouraging everyone to be active in sport.”
Zhuwawo, who is in the Netherlands, is also expected to be around for the event.
“Zhuwawo is in the Netherlands now but he will be here in time for the big event,”said Chuwa.
Christopher Kawunda, who won the Africa University Peace Marathon in 2004, will also be expected to be part of the competing athletes.
Chuwa also added that this will be the time for rural athletes to expose their talents as they are sometimes marginalised.
“This is the opportunity for rural athletes to expose their talents,” he said. “This is the platform for them to shine”.
The event will be used to select athletes for the New Year’s Eve Angola 10km race.
Chuwa also said that they will use this event to identify athletes that are likely to make it to the All Africa Games in Algeria next year.