ZIMBABWE long-distance runner Cephas Pasipamire booked a place at the International Association of Athletics Federation World Championships to be held in Beijing, China, in August next year.
Pasipamire, who arrived in the country from North Korea where he came fifth in the Mangyongdae Prize International marathon, qualified for next year’s event after securing an A standard time of 2hrs 14mins 07secs.
His previous personal record was a B standard time of 2hrs 16min 14secs that he recorded in the same country in 2012. But this is not the first time the athlete has qualified for the World Championships.
Last year he was the only long-distance runner to qualify for the global showpiece in Russia, but suffered a calf injury three days before the championships, forcing him to withdraw from the bi-annual competition.
Pasipamire told our sister NewsDay Sport soon after arrival on Tuesday that he was happy he had more than a year to prepare for the World Championships.
“It was a long journey, but l am happy that I arrived well. I came fifth and the major thing is that l recorded my personal best time of 2hrs 14min 07secs which meant I qualified for the World Championships that will be held in Beijing, China, next year in August,” he said.
“I was number two in Africa at the race which was also used as a qualifying event for the Commonwealth Games, but Zimbabwe does not participate in the games. Last year I was disappointed after failing to participate at the 11th hour because of an injury, but I was already in Russia,” he said.
‘’ I hope this time around my dream of participating at this grand event will finally come true. If I mange top-20 finish, then I would automatically qualify for the Olympic Games the following year,” Pasipamire added.