Tanzania Olympics select athletes have opened a training camp at the Filbert Bayi Secondary School in Kibaha, the Athletics Tanzania’s secretary general Suleiman Nyambui confirmed yesterday.
The team comprises five athletes and starts the training today ahead of the Olympic Games to be hosted by England later in July.
Nyambui said the camp is jointly organised by AT and Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC).
He named the athletes joining the camp as Zakia Mrisho, Samson Ramadhan, Fabian Joseph, Dickson Maewa and Msenduki Mohamed.
According to Nyambui, selection of the athletes was based on their recent performance at international and domestic competitions.
He noted that only Zakia and Ramadhan are the ones who managed to meet qualifier standards for the London Games.
The AT official said long distance running trio of Fabian Joseph, Dickson Marwa and Msenduki Mohamed will have to compete at the national athletics championship to be held ahead of the London Games to earn the Olympic berth.
He said the national championship will be held at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, but he declined to unveil the exact date due to technicalities of organizing the event.
Nyambui said athletes selected at the national championship will join into the camp organised by TOC in Dar es Salaam or England.
He could not name the number of athletes who will represent the country at the Games, saying TOC are better placed to know composition of the team.
However, he said there is a need for Tanzania to start sending more athletes to participate in international competitions if the country is to increase chances of winning medals.
Nyambui said it’s very sad that the country usually sends very little number of athletes at international events when other countries are exhausting a full set of 26 members.
The AT official bemoaned the habit of underutilizing the number of athletes through oversight while some of these would have sparkled but are left behind.
“We end up minimising our chances of winning medals when those we trusted most meet stiff competition,” said Nyambui.
TOC secretary general Filbert Bayi, in an interview, said his committee will have a full number of athletes from all disciplines in May and also said they were planning to open camp no sooner than later for final preparations.
Bayi said his association has identified Bradford University in Leeds as a conducive place for the overseas camp, but was non committal on the duration of the camp.
He said the length of training in Leeds banks on the number of qualified athletes and available resources to meet expenses.
“Chances are we might camp at Bradford University, but I’m not sure of the date for the camp and also the number of athletes.
Bayi hopes that the camp will help the athletes to acclimatise with the weather ahead of the Games.
However, Bayi said should his association fail to make arrangements for the camping in time, and then an alternative camp will be at the Olympic Village.
The Games’ Village is expected to be opened on July 16, barely eleven days before the start of the Olympics.