Six Maputo All Africa Games-bound athletes are to start a residential training camp at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) today, the Athletics Tanzania (AT) secretary general Suleiman Nyambui disclosed.
He said the training duration is lined-up for three weeks under tutelage of Msenduki Mohamed and Cuban coach Endrow Baro before boarding the Maputo-bound flight.
Nyambui said most of the athletes at the camp are in great shape as they have been competing at the national and international events.
He also strongly defended his association decision to include young athletes for the Games, saying the inclusion will help them to acquire experience.
AT included young athletes Basil John and Fabian Nelson in the Maputo-bound squad.
Nyambui said though the athletes will train briefly at the camp, he is confident they would perform well to claim medals.
“Most of the camping athletes are in great shape as they have been under frequent competitive mood and we hope they would excel,” he said.
Asked on what challenges athletics in the country are facing ahead of the Games, Nyambui cited inadequate funding and lack of commitment from some athletes.
The athletes for the All African Games as unveiled by AT include Basil John (800 meters), Fabiano Nelson (5,000 meters), Fabian Joseph and Dickson Marwa (Half Marathon), Alphonce Felix and Cornel Bula Panga (1,500 meters) race.
Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) takes care of the athletes at the camp and in Mozambique through full board accommodation and provides their daily stipend.
In a related development, Nyambui said four athletes will represent the country at the forthcoming IAAF World Championship in Daegu, Korea from August 27 through September.
He named the athletes as half marathoners Patrick Nyangero, Osward Lebelini and Msenduki Mohamed and the only lady runner in the team, Zakia Muhamed, will compete in 5,000 metres show.
Nyambui said the team will leave the country any day next week and will be accompanied by Juma Itanga as head coach, AT president Francis John and assistant secretary Julius Msomi, TOC secretary general Filbert Bayi and Nyambui himself.
He said while in Korea Bayi, Francis John and himself will attend the IAAF general conference which will be among other things discuss on the progress the game has made over the years and also selects the host country of the 2013 Athletic World Championship.
In a similar development, an athlete and swimmer will leave the country tomorrow for the International Universities Sports Festivals in China.
He named the athlete as Tonie Kazimoto and swimmer Magdalena Mushi.