HomeSportMujaji promises gold at the Paralympics

Mujaji promises gold at the Paralympics

By Brian Nkiwane
AT the age of 39, the forthcoming 2012 London Paralympic Games will see the last of two-time Paralympic Gold medalist Elliot Mujaji.
Having gained some weight, obviously due to lack of action, Mujaji was however all smiles last week after receiving a shot in the arm from Murowa Diamonds ahead of the games.Squatting in front of his sponsors’ banner spotting a cheese kop haircut, Mujaji proudly displayed the Nike spike shoes and an assortment of training equipment he had received from his sponsors.
Mujaji, who received a sponsorship boost ahead of his Paralympic Games, looked at ease and ready for what appears to be his last go for the games.
Mujaji and wheelchair tennis ace Nyasha Mharakurwa are the only athletes that are going to represent the country at the 13th edition of the Paralympic Games set for August 29 to September 9 in London.
Mujaji, a two-time Paralympic medalist, got a universality wild card (UWC) entry for the 100m from the International Paralympic Committee for the London Games, while Mharakurwa got a bi-partite entry.
All Paralympic athletes had failed to qualify for any event, leading to the governing body giving the two automatic entries. Mujaji will run on September 6, in the semi-finals of the 100m race and again on the following day in the finals of the same race.
Speaking to Standardsport, Mujaji said this was his last dance.
“I would like to kiss goodbye to such high-profile competition with an impact. age is no longer on my side but I am capable of snatching a gold medal in London. I think it’s high time I pass on the baton to other upcoming athletes,” Mujaji said.
Mujaji, who had stopped competitive running and had started coaching youngster in the Midlands province in preparation for the Youth Games, made a sudden return to full training after he was told that he had been given a wild card.
“I have been training in illustrations to my athletes but after that development I actually made a sudden return to full-swing training. I am not doing bad though because the Paralympics qualifying time is 11,75 second for the 100m race but for now I am doing something like 10,91 and I am hoping to have improved by the time I am going to leave for the games,” he added.
The Paralympics standing record for the 100m race is 10,75 which was set by a Nigeria athlete.

Murowa diamonds come to Mujaji’s rescue

Speaking to Standardsport, Murowa Diamonds advisor external relations Tsitsi Taruvinga, said they had seen it prudent to chip in and assist Mujaji with his final preparations.
“We got a letter from him in April where he was outlining areas where he needed assistance. We have managed to kit him and provide him with transport from his residence to the National Sports Stadium for his training,” Taruvinga said.
Mujaji’s last competitive race was at the All Africa Games Paralympic events in Mozambique last year, where he had a woeful outing.
Mujaji wrote a piece of history for the nation when he romped to a gold medal victory in 100m at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic, before repeating the same feat at the Athens Games four years later.

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