- Published on Saturday, 11 August 2012 01:12
- Written by JOHN NDITI, Morogoro
- Hits: 510
WIT the remaining three Tanzania athletes expected to try their luck at the ongoing London Olympics Games tomorrow, president of Athletics Tanzania (AT), Anthony Mtaka seemed to have no hope for medals and has decided to turn his attention in preparing team for 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Mtaka said here on Thursday that preparations should start now; if at all Tanzania wants to make any significant achievement at the coming Olympics. To start with Mtaka said, they will use this year’s National Athletics Championships set for Dar es Salaam to scout for best and top quality runners, who will be well guided and prepared for the Rio Games.
Much focus Mtaka said would be directed towards promoting youngsters. 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.
He also expressed commitment to set up an athletics centre in the country, which will be used to promote the sport and preserve history of legendary athletes who won Tanzania honours.
Mtaka, who is also the Mvomero District Commissioner, made this promise when he met marathon legend John Stephen Akhwari (74), here on Thursday. He said the centre will keep among others, collection of trophies, certificates, newspaper cuttings and medals that local athletes won in major international competitions such as Olympics, Commonwealth, All Africa Games, World Athletics Championship and many others.
“We’ll reach each and every former athlete who flagged high the country at different international events and use them as icons to inspire youngsters to step up their performance,” said Mtaka. He named some of the big names target for the project as Akhwari, Filbert Bayi, Suleiman Nyambui, Juma Ikangaa, Kyomo Mlelwa, Mwinga Mwanjala, Samson Ramadhani , John Yuda and Lwiza John.
Tanzania hopes for medals have now remained solely in marathon, when three men runners will try their fortune tomorrow in a bid to end a 32-year Olympic medal hunger. Tanzania's marathoners, who are set to fly the country's flag in the London Games, are Samson Ramadhani, Mohamed Msenduki and Faustine Mussa.
Last Tuesday Tanzania’s lone middle-distance runner at the Games, Zakia Mrisho failed to go past her heat in the 5000-metres women. Zakia finished 16th among 18 runners after she posted 15:39.58. 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.
Zakia was the fourth Tanzania athlete to make an early exit in the medal search after putting up dismal show. She joined boxer, Selemani Kidunda and swimmers Magdalena Moshi and Amaar Gadiyali, who kissed bye to the quadrennial event at the very advanced stages.