Athletics body asks for support for 2020 Olympic Games preps

09Feb 2017
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Athletics body asks for support for 2020 Olympic Games preps

ATHLETICS Tanzania (AT) has called on the government and firms to support the body so it can oversee the country's athletes' preparations for the 2020 Japan Olympic Games early.

Tanzanian athlete Alphonce Simbu celebrates after winning Mumbai Marathon in India recently.

The AT secretary general, Wilhelm Gidabuday, said yesterday the country’s poor performance in previous Olympics was caused by poor preparations.

He said that early financial support from the firms and government can help the national athletics governing body have a team that will have all it takes to win medals in high profile international events.

He said AT is confident of building a team that can challenge for medals in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games but the association is lacking financial support.

Gidabuday said AT plans to keep athletes, who will represent the country in the World Cross Country championship in Uganda, as well as in Burundi track event and other international events.

“We have good athletes who can win us medals in international events, we also have good plans...the only problem is that we lack financial support from the government and firms," Gidabuday said.

"We ask the government and the business community to help us so that we can achieve the goal of bringing medals home.”

He said the problem hindering the growth of athletics in the country is that the athletes do not prepare for competitions early on.

“We are supposed to make all our selections two or three years ahead of the competition, but we do so with only a month left," the AT official said.

"I can assure you that this time around we are serious and we already started preparations for the Japan Olympics,” he said.