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Sakilu withdraws from national athletics team

Assistant Director of Sports in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Juliana Yassoda, said that Sakilu has withdrawn because she is attending family problems.

In her place, Athletics Tanzania (AT) has recalled veteran long distance runner Fabian Joseph, who was initially not selected in the team’s trip.

Apart form Joseph, other athletes who departed to Ethiopia include Samson Ramadhani, Faustine Mussa, John Leonard, Mohamed Ramadhani, Jeremiah Chacha, Hafidhi Khalfan, James Shigela and Alphonce Felix.

The team is under coach Shabani Iki. Yassoda named short distance runners who will camp in New Zealand for the same training mission as Imani James, Misiwa Lameck and Peter Nyangono under Coach Suleiman Nyambui.

The team was supposed to leave but was turned back at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) as it lacked an Australian visa.

The team is headed by the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) Secretary General, Filbert Bayi, who in 1974 broke the 1,500 metres world and Commonwealth Games record in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Yassoda named judo players who left yesterday as Andrew Mlugu, Aboubakar Nzige and Selemani Mbarouk Selemani. They are under the tutelage of Zaidi Hamisi Omary.

The national boxing team was also due to fly out on Thursday to Turkey and boxers in the team are Joseph Martine, Emmilian Patrick and Fabian Gaudence who are under coach Mwakipesile, while the weightlifting team has only one player -- Abdallah Shaibu Abdallah -- under trainer Jarinus Issa Seleman.

According to Yassoda, a batch of athletes who will set camp in China are due to depart on Sunday. The team will include runners, boxers and table tennis players. She said swimming team will leave for New Zealand on June 6.

The abroad camps for Team Tanzania were made possible by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation under the “Sports Diplomacy” programme.

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