Athletes enter camp for Olympic qualifiers

22Feb 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Athletes enter camp for Olympic qualifiers

TANZANIA's athletes seeking Tokyo Olympics qualification will enter camp early next month, Athletics Tanzania (AT) disclosed.

Athletics Tanzania (AT)'s vice-president, John Bayo.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, with the Tokyo Paralympics due to follow from August 24 to September 5.

John Bayo, AT vice-president, said the aim of the camp is to see to it that the country is represented by many athletes at the Games.

Currently only two athletes Alponce Simbu and Failuna Matanga qualified for the Games.

“We plan to have an early camp so that our athletes can earn qualification for the Games. We want to have many athletes at the Games. The camp will prepare them for qualification events,” he said.

The AT official, however, conceded that with the second phase of coronavirus hitting hard around the world, many qualifying events have either been cancelled or postponed.

He, however, expressed optimism that there will be some Olympic qualifiers soon.

“Of course many qualifying events have been suspended and others cancelled, but we are optimistic that soon there will be some events which will be used as qualifying competitions for the Tokyo Olympics, all we want to do is to keep our athletes ready for qualifying tournaments,” he said.

Bayo was reported in the media as saying that the team will camp for four month at two venues, West Kilimanjaro for marathoners while track and field athletes will camp at Sheikh Amri Abeid KaStadium in Arusha.

In a related development, Tanzania's Open Boxing Federation (OBFT) said preparations for this weekend's East Africa Olympic Trials are going on smoothly.

Lukelo Willilo, OBFT secretary general, said all 17 boxers who are attending training ahead of the trials are performing well.

Zimbabwe, Burundi and hosts Tanzania will attend the trials slated to start in Dar es Salaam yesterday and climax on March 4.

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