CONFIDENT Tanzania Athletics team which will represent the country in the 16th edition of the IAAF World Championships scheduled to take place from Friday to August 13 in London, UK jetted off yesterday.
Athletic Tanzania (AT), Deputy Secretary General, Ombeni Zavalla said the team of seven runners led by captain Felix Alphonce Simbu left the country early yesterday for London to compete in the biggest sport event to be held in the British capital since the 2012 Olympics.
The team comprising eight athletes is be under Coach Zakaria Barie, the former international class athlete. Among the key runners in the team include Alphonce Simbu, who finished fifth in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Stephano Huche and Said Makula, who will compete in 42km full Marathon.
Others, according to Mshana is Gabriel Geay, who will compete in 5,000 meters, while Sara Ramadhani and Magdalena Shauri, are envoys in women’s full marathon. There is also Failuna Abdi, who will chase 10,000m title.
Also accompanying athletes is the team’s assistant coach Francis John. Unfortunately, Emmanuel Giniki, who will compete in the 5,000m race failed to travel with his colleague yesterday because he is yet to complete some travelling procedures.
However, Zavalla said that Giniki will travel to London alongside the team head Coach Zakaria Barie on Saturday and join the rest of the team ready to battle for medals in the world championships, which brings together elite runners from all over the world.
On Monday, Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe encouraged the teºam to fight hard and use their skills to the maximum to win top honours for the country.
Mwakyembe made the remarks when handing over the national flag to the team at the event attended by various sports stakeholders including the AT president, Anthony Mtaka and the MultiChoice Tanzania who will show live the competition through DSTV channels for all ten days of the championship.
Mwakyembe said that patriotism and love for the country would be the only best way that will encourage them to work hard in the races for medals against top athletes from various nations.
“I believe you will go to fight and make sure you come back with medals because I hope you have trained well for the event,” he said. The minister responsible with sports also warned the runners not to use performance enhancing drugs since they are harmful and can shame the country.
The championships will be held in the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London, which has a capacity of 60,000 and will be the last for the famous sprinter Usain Bolt’s and medium distance runner Mo Farah.
Simbu, Makuka, Huche, Ramadhan and Shauri will compete against the world best male and female runners during the Marathon in Central London. For Simbu, it will be a reminiscent of his recent feat, in which he finished fifth in London Marathon, posting his new personal best time of 2:9:10 hours.
The men’s marathon will get underway at 10:55am on Sunday 6 August, with the women’s marathon runners setting off later the same day at 14:00.