Athletes get boost with IAAF calendar out early

Sukoluhle Mthethwa



ZIMBABWEAN athletes have enough time to prepare for 2007 regional and international tournaments as the International Association of Athletics Federati

on (IAAF) calendar for next year’s events is already out.


National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) president Joseph Mungwari said IAAF usually releases the calendar every January but next year’s schedule is already out.


“We already have the calendar from the IAAF for next year,” said Mungwari. “I think it will give the athletes enough time for to prepare for the events.”


Regionally, local athletes can travel to countries such as Lesotho, Malawi, Burundi, Botswana and Namibia, among other African countries.


The athletes can also prepare for international events to be held in the Czech Republic and Japan.


Mungwari said coaches have ample time to prepare their athletes well in time for the competitions.


“This will help coaches to know when their athletes are supposed to reach their peak,” Mungwari said.


Mungwari said it was important for athletes to start working towards achieving set international qualifying standards for next year’s meetings.


“We no longer send athletes for exposure,” Mungwari said. “We now want them to measure up to international standards.”


Meanwhile, the NAAZ is yet to release the names of the athletes to represent Zimbabwe in the New Year’s Eve Sao Silvestre 15km races to be held in Mozambique and Angola. The races will be held in Maputo and Luanda respectively.


NAAZ is expected to send more athletes to the Sao Silvestre race in Mozambique because it is cheaper.


“We will be sending more athletes to Mozambique because it is nearer,” said Mungwari. “Only about three athletes will go to Angola because they need to travel by air.”


He also said athletes who have been doing well lately will be considered for the competitions.


“We will take athletes who have been doing well of late. We will not take athletes who are fading away,” Mungwari said.


Athletes who are expected to make the team include Samukeliso Moyo who came second in the New Year’s Eve 15km Sao Silvestre road race in Mozambique early this year.


Kudakwashe Shoko who won the 21km Shabanie Mine road race last Sunday at Shabanie Mine is also expected to take part.

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