NATIONAL Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) first vice-president Enias Nhoro says their decision to move the track and field events from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) to White City stadium is a blessing in disguise.
Nhoro who admitted that the decision to move the competitions to the below standard venue would compromise athletes’ performance especially sprinters, believes the hard surface at White City will give athletes an advantage when competing in tartan tracks.
With heavy rains that have been falling for the past few weeks, White City has been water-logged forcing some National Association of Primary School Heads (Naph) athletics competitions to be shifted to other schools.
“Of course the tracks are sub-standard, they are hard compared to Nust tartan tracks, but we had no option because our funds are limited. We are definitely going to use the event to select athletes who will represent the country in international competitions. It is a blessing in disguise to athletes because it will give them an added advantage when they compete on tartan tracks,” Nhoro said.
However, some athletes feel the move will not be beneficial for them as cinder tracks have slower times than tartan tracks.
Nigel Tom, one of the country’s top sprinters said the type of track that they were going to use would not produce much from the athletes.
“It was possible for the athletes to run qualifying times for the Olympics, but not with the type of track we are going to compete on. We are hoping to do well at the track and field championships,” he said.
Tom who competes in the 400m will be one of the athletes that will be hoping to break the 44,58 seconds record held by Lewis Banda.
He has competed against and with some of the country’s best who include Marvin Bonde, Elvis Mzamo, Nelton Ndebele, Gabriel Chikomo and David Tinago and was under the guidance of athletics coach and renowned trainer Kenny Nyape.