THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) has disowned the 12-member provisional athletics team announced by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) for the African Games (formerly All Africa Games) to be held in Congo-Brazzaville from September 4-19.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The Sports Commission recently announced the squad which is spread over 11 codes namely athletics, cycling, beach volleyball, football, gymnastics, judo, karate, rugby, swimming, taekwondo and tennis.
However the composition of the athletics team has irked Naaz, whose president Tendai Tagara came out guns blazing, accusing SRC of not consulting them before announcing the athletics squad.
“As far as we are concerned, we will announce the team at the end of June. We don’t know about the squad that was announced by the SRC. We told them it was pointless for us to submit a squad at this stage as it was always bound to change as the international athletics season is only starting,” said Tagara.
“Most of our athletes based overseas are only coming out of pre-season and are just starting to enter the relevant competitions for them to qualify for the World Championship which are in August,” he said.
“We were surprised to hear that the SRC has selected the athletics squad for the African Games because as the governing body for athletics in Zimbabwe it’s our role to select the squad,” he said.
The athletics squad announced by the SRC had already raised eyebrows after several deserving athletes such as Paul Madzivire, Catherine Makaya and Pardon Ndhlovu were omitted for the continental showpiece.
Long jumper Madzivire, who is on a scholarship at Florida State University, has been enjoying a successful season on the US collegiate circuit with his best perfomance coming at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from the Team Zimbabwe chef de mission Joseph Muchechetere, who is also the Sports Commission director for sports development were fruitless yesterday.