The forthcoming Kilimanjaro Marathon to be held in Moshi later this month would be used as a stage to highlight potentials of athletes ahead of the London Olympics, so says the Athletics Tanzania (AT) assistant secretary general Julius Musomi.
Musomi said AT is committed to develop the sport in the country and will make sure that many young and upcoming athletes are competing at all events to be organised by the association.
AT aims at nurturing upcoming athletes and open room for them to gain experience.
He said currently his association has 19 and 15 athletes at Moshi and Arusha camps respectively, preparing for the Kilimanjaro Marathon.
Musomi, however, said the AT will not abandon old and experienced athletes as they are a backbone of the athletic team of the country.
“The fact that we want the young blood in our team does not mean that we will abandon the old and the more experienced ones. We still need them for the strength of the game in the country,” he said.
Commenting on the coming event, Musomi said it will be more competitive and entertaining as many top athletes from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and other countries.
He named some of the top athletes who have confirmed their participation in the event as Andrea Silvini, Daudi Joseph, Getul Bayo and Kagera Humay.
Musomi also named some female athletes who would compete in full marathon as Sarah Kavina, Banuelia Brighton and Areca Kavina.
Musomi named Fabian Joseph, Damian Chopa, Faustine Musa and Mary Naali as athletes lined up for half marathon.
He described athletes who have confirmed their participation at the event as very good and experienced, noting that Andrea Silvini won the 2007 marathon edition and used as a springboard to win the Pune Marathon in the subsequent year.
Brighton won the 2009 Kigali Peace Marathon and also finished as runners up at the Kampala Marathon last year.
“We have on board Fabian Joseph, who has won the Kilimanjaro half marathon 8 times,” said Musomi.
He said the event has won a galore of sponsors thus hoping it would be a great success.
Prizes at this year event has been doubled as winners in marathon in men and women categories will each receive 6m/-.
Those who will emerge runners-up would take home half of the amount while 1.7m/- is set aside for the third placed finishers.
In the half marathon, he said, winners in men and women categories will each get 3m/-, second placed 1.5m/- and the third placed finishers have 850,000/- to fight for.