- Published on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 03:18
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
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TANZANIA hopes for medal at the ongoing London 2012 Olympics are fast diminishing after the country’s lone middle-distance runner, Zakia Mrisho failed to go past her heat in the 5000-metres women. Zakia finished 16th among 18 runners.
Zakia posted 15:39.58 to finish at the 16 position in the heat whose finalists qualifiers are Ethiopia’s Burka Gelete, Kenya’s Cheruiyot Vivian Jepkemoi and Kipyego Sally Jepkosgei, Great Britain’s Bleasdale Julia, USA’s Huddle Molly, Russian Nagovitsyna Yelena, Great Britain Pavey Joanne, Bahrain’s Eshete Shitaye and Italy’s Romagnolo Elena.
It should be remembered though that Zakia took part in the race while still struggling to recover from injury she sustained in Nairobi early this year. And, her latest failures only worsened Tanzania’s troubles in trying to secure at least a medal in London.
Zakia becomes the fourth Tanzania athlete to make an early exit in the medal search after showcasing poor performance yesterday in the women first round at the Olympic Stadium. She has now joined boxer, Selemani Kidunda and swimmers Magdalena Moshi and Amaar Gadiyali, who kissed bye to the quadrennial event at the very advanced stages.
Twenty eight-year-old Zakia failed to impress yesterday with no special efforts shown whereas the Kenyans dominated in her heat. She clearly struggled to keep the pace with the crowd, which involved a lot of tagging and pushing. Two years ago, Zakia won the Adidas women 5 kilometres in Prague beating world champion Gladys Otero by 17 seconds. She also participated in the Beijing 2008 Olympics finishing fourth in 3,000 metres.
And, Tanzania hope for medals has now remained solely in marathon, when three men runners will try their fortune in a bid to end a 32-year Olympic medal hunger. 1980 was Tanzania's most successful year ever, with Filbert Bayi winning silver in the 3000m steeplechase and Suleiman Nyambui winning bronze in the 5,000m.
Tanzania’s marathoners, who are set to fly the country’s flag in the London Games, are Samson Ramadhani, Mohamed Msenduki and Faustine Mussa. Samson, 30 years old now, won a gold medal in 2006 Commonwealth games in Melbourne, Australia and his time was 2 hours, 11 minutes and 29 seconds.
The Commonwealth games record is held by Briton Ian Thompson who clocked 2 hours, 09 minutes and 12 seconds in 1974, Christchurch, New Zealand. Although Samson finished 55th in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, he won the Beppu-Oita Marathon in Kyushu, Japan in 2003 and Lake Biwa Marathon, Japan in 2007.
The other marathoner is a 29-year-old Faustine Musa, who has already been very active this year. In April he took part in marathon in Krakow, and a month later in Mannheim Half-marathon (Germany). In 2009 he was also busy by running in Melbourne (10,000 metres), Berlin (10kilometres road run) plus half marathon in Albacete, Spain.
Let us not forget little known Mohammed Msenduki Ikoki a promising Marathon runner. In 2009, he won the Buenos Aries Marathon with a superb time of 2 hours, 13 minutes and 53 seconds, in Argentina. Athletic, which is the only sport, the country has ever won medal at the Olympic Games, has for a long time now witness its runners performing poorly.