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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Russian diplomats appeal for support to athletes

19th March 2012

Two athletes from the Russian Embassy who competed at the Kilimanjaro Marathon held in Moshi last month, Sergey Ukharskisy and Nikita Rassokhin, have said the country has top athletes and if well supported they could make it big in the international level.

Speaking in an exclusive interview at their office in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, the two said at the Kili Marathon they discovered that the country has top athletes who can overtake Kenyans as the best athletes in the region.

Ukharskisy and Rassokhin, who are third secretary and secretary referent at the Russia Embassy in the country respectively, appealed to the corporate world and individuals to support local athletes for them to advance in their careers.

The diplomats, who competed in half marathon for the first time, said the final results were very good as those who were the best won.

They said they have seen that the country have good athletes who could do well if supported to participate in international tournaments which can also help them to improve.

Ukharskisy said the Russian Embassy workers participated in the marathon to show their unity with people of all works of life and also to show that Russians are good athletes.

However, the two advised local athletics lovers not to lose hope with the current status of the sport in the country, saying nothing can be achieved overnight.

“We think the results were very good. The best athletes won, but it’s our hope that if local athletes are given enough support from the corporate world and others Tanzanians, the country has many athletes who can do well internationally,” said Sergey

More than 6,000 people from different parts of the world competed in the marathon and, according to the diplomats, that is a sign that sports can be used to unite people of different cultures, race, religions and backgrounds.

The two said they were impressed with the turnout of athletes and asked the government and other stakeholders to improve infrastructure in the region so that all participating people can get accommodation within the area.

Ukharskisy and Rassokhin also said the marathon was worthy participating as some of the proceeds from it were meant for the less privileged people in the country.

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