SPARROWS Athletics Club’s Thando Maphosa is the first athlete from Bulawayo province to qualify for the National Coca-Cola four-minute mile finals to be held at the Trade Fair on May 10.
The 20-year-old Maphosa completed a mile on the exact required time of 4 minutes 31 seconds at Gifford High School yesterday to make his way to the finals.
Maphosa however said he had mixed feelings about his qualification time saying although he was happy being the first one, he has a lot of home work to do to improve his time for the national finals.
“I am happy for being the first one to qualify. I qualified very early which gives me time to practise and prepare for the finals. I am very much worried about my time, it is not good considering that in the finals there is a very stiff competitions,” Maphosa said.
Isaac Mpofu of Fair Bridge Athletics Club almost qualified as he jumped the finishing line in 4 minutes 32, 05 seconds while club mates Ngonidzashe Ncube and Trust Madoro finished in 4 minutes 35, 05 seconds and 4 minutes 35, 95 seconds respectively.
Sparrows’ Simbarashe Taderera finished in 4 minutes 41, 80 seconds while Zamani Moyo of Mbonqane Athletics club had the worst time of 4 minutes 56, 41 seconds.
Bulawayo Athletics Board (BAB) chairman Manuel Mpofu said he is optimistic that more athletes will bounce back and make it to finals.
He said he is looking forward to producing at least 15 athletes from the province to make it to the finals to strengthen the hopes of bringing the Coca-Cola valuable prizes back home.
“They are not that bad. They still have much time to qualify so I am optimistic a good number will make it to the finals. I am targeting at least 15 athletes to make it to the finals so that we win the prizes,” Mpofu said.
Last years’ National Coca-Cola four minute mile was won by Black Rhinos’ Simbarashe Chikadaga who finished in 4 minutes 5 seconds.