TOC Secretary General Filbert Bayi said a strict selection policy has been agreed upon by TOC in accordance with the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and it will be followed by the national associations to make final selection for athletes who will compete in the quadrennial event.
He also said June 11, this year is the deadline for associations to submit their final squad for the Commonwealth Games to be held from July 23 to August 3. “The final decision in selection to the 2014 Games lies with TOC.
The selection policy provides details on the process by which national associations will arrive at the selection of athletes for the Games. The selection will be submitted to TOC for consideration,” Bayi said.
He insisted that the eligibility criteria of the Commonwealth Games must be met by all 50 nominees who have been included in the provisional team set for an intensive training abroad.
The first batch is due to leave today while the final batch will leave on Sunday. The TOC chief gave this advice during a brief farewell ceremony for athletes who will camp in China, Turkey, Ethiopia and New Zealand in readiness for the Glasgow Games.
Bayi’s caution came after the government offered to guarantee financial support to all 50 athletes going abroad for training to compete in the Commonwealth Games.
The Commonwealth Games 1,500 metres record holder was quick to alert association leaders not to take the offer as a loophole to select athletes who are not qualified for the Games.
“Athletes should train hard to get the qualification marks and improve their performance, but what is more important is for coaches and leaders who will accompany the athletes to their training camps to ensure we get qualified athletes for the Games,” Bayi said.
“They should not take government’s offer as a loophole to pick incompetent athletes to represent the country in the games,” he added.
He warned that picking incompetent athletes would lead to poor performance in the Games, which will in the end make all efforts by the government futile.
Bayi said athletes should exploit the opportunity of training abroad to the maximum to ensure the goal of ending medal drought in the country is achieved. “Medal drought can come to an end if we are determined and prepared enough to compete at the top level.
I believe our athletes have got what it takes to win medals if they decide to put the best performance,” he said.
He also extended his gratitude to the government for its great support through Sports Diplomacy programme, recommending that such support should extend to prepare teams for 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Athletic Tanzania (AT) President Anthony Mtaka warned athletes not to engage in doping as the consequence is bad to themselves and the country in general.
“Athletes who do not adhere to the drug testing requirements will be deselected from the team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games,” he said.
Recently, local runner Sarah Ramadhani was suspended for two years as a result of anti- doping violation allegations.
Ramadhani, who was previously selected in the provisional squad for the Games, has been omitted from the team.
Other associations that will send athletes for the games are Boxing Federation of Tanzania (BFT), Tanzania Swimming Association (TSA), Tanzania Cycling Association (TCA), Tanzania Table Tennis Association (TTTA), Tanzania Judo Association (TJA), Tanzania Weightlifting Association (TWA) and Tanzania Paralympics Association (TPA).