No electronic timers for track, field competition

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LACK of electronic times marred the second trials of National Athletics Associations of Zimbabwe (NAAZ), track and field championships held at White City Stadium, Bualawayo, on Saturday which featured 10 provinces.

MAMELO NKOMO /
GRACE CHIRANGANDE

The trials are part of the selection process for the Africa junior championships to be held early next month in Ethiopia.

Zimbabwe is building a team  that will represent Zimbabwe in the competitions but Saturday’s competitions were held without standard electronic timers which were used during the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games.

Silas Muringani, coach of Laxoc Athletics Club who is also the national junior team coach, cried foul over the use of hand time instead of electronic timers.

“Electronic timing was used in the qualifying times hence our times won’t work because we are using hand timing. We were targeting this competition for 100m sprinter Tafadwa Munyawarara to qualify, but all was in vain. We need to be electronic that’s where our challenge is,” he indicated.

NAAZ president Tendai Tagara said the unavailability of electronic timers was a result of late communication with authorities and the equipment was therefore not released for the event.

“We had a hitch on other technical equipment such as electronic timing which l understand was caused by late communication. Nevertheless, we have been assured that the equipment will be ready by next week,” Tagara said.

Meanwhile, two key athletes battled against each other in the women’s 3 000m race.

Enlitha Ncube who has already qualified for the junior championships, finished in 10mins 37,09secs, while Maureen Ngone finished second in 10mins 55,41secs.

David Tinago clocked one minute 55,70 seconds in the 800m race followed by ZRP Fairbridge’s Trust Chidomaya in one minute 56,01secs.

“I am optimistic that if l qualify I will bring home a medal. The 800m race is part of my training for the 400m,” Tinago said.

In the men’s Under-20 1 500m race, Ihlosi’s Mosli Ndlovu clocked 4 mins 25,00secs followed by Godwin Moyo crossed the line in 4 mins 25,38secs, with Matiza Arlicate of Mpopoma High School coming third in 4mins 35,37secs.

There were different schools, athletics clubs and individual participants who took part in the competition including Enkundleni Technical College, Successful Strides Sports, Sparrows Athletics Club, Nyasha Charandura Academy, Churchill Boys’ High, Zimbabwe Republic Police Fairbridge and Prince Edward.

Harare will host the third series of the athletics at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare, on February 15 and the final selection process will be at White City Stadium , Bulawayo, on February 21.

Tagara applauded help from parents and some non-governmental organisations such as Plan International for the sponsorship of tickets for Ethiopia.