Athletics Tanzania (AT) secretary general Suleiman Nyambui said teenage athletes will be given top priority in the Maputo-bound national team for the All Africa Games showdown.
The AT official said a number of young athletes have performed well during the national championships that ended at the National Stadium in Dar e Salaam over the weekend.
The official said there is a strong urge to incorporate the teenagers with a sole objective of providing them with exposure while they gradually gain experience while nursing their careers.
Nyambui said prior to the national championship his association had already selected 25 athletes for the national team which will participate at the Games in Maputo in September.
However, he said the performances by some young athletes at the championships has been impressive enough to convince AT’s technical committee to include them into the Maputo-bound team.
During the championships in Dar es Salaam, South Pemba-based Alphonce Felix shocked veteran Dickson Marwa in the 10 kilometre race to hit the finishing line first with stunning 29.01.21 timings.
Alphonce was a shock to the pre-event favourites to push Mwita Kopiro from Mara to the third place during the race.
While Marwa clocked 29.02.10, Mwita pounced to 29.34.87 minutes as fans were bewildered by the heroics from the Pemba runner.
In women’s 5,000 meters category Anastazia Msandai from Arusha clocked 16.25.21 to beat Natalia Elisante of Dar es Salaam to the runners up spot for her 16.49.77 timings.
Mara’s Joyce Samson came third in the event with her 17.06.64 timings.
Nyambui declined to unveil names of the young athletes who had an impressive showpiece during the championships to be included in the Maputo trip.
He said the AT’s technical committee will officially represent its assessment of all athletes who competed at the championships to the executive committee for recommendations.
“The technical committee headed by Ernest Farai will table its general assessment of all the athletes who competed during the event and most likely the team would include most of the young ones,” said Nyambui.
The AT official said once the technical committee assessments are out, the executive committee would submit report to AT treasury committee for budgeting to be forwarded to the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) for funding ahead of preparations for the Games.
He said AT wishes to accommodate all the 25 athletes in the training camp for the athletic coach to have a wide choice of athletes to select the final squad for the Maputo Games.
Nyambui could not disclose how much money is needed for the team to camp and when and where the camp will take place.
He only said AT is waiting for the treasury to release its budget and also the technical committee to recommend the best place suitable for camping.
The national championships have been used as a perfect stage to scout athletes for the Games in Maputo though most of them were far from meeting the qualifying time.
However, Nyambui has been unfazed by lack of meeting the qualifying timings but drew optimism over working closely with Tanzania Olympic Committee to see how the shortfall can be dealt with.
In a related development, Nyambui hailed athletes from all regions who took part at the event.
The AT officials bemoaned those regions which failed to send their athletes as they denied them with an opportunity to showcase their skills and selection for the Maputo Games.
He named regions that did not send their athletes at the games as Iringa, Rukwa, Mtwara, Lindi, Shinyanga and Kigoma.
Nyambui said AT has no any mandate to take disciplinary measures against the regions for missing the championships.