Athletics Tanzania (AT) secretary general, Whilhelm Gidabuday, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday the body is ready to send the mentioned number of athletes to the games.
He said the country’s athletes for the games will be selected in the national cross country championship slated for February 18 at Moshi Golf Club grounds in Kilimanjaro.
“For the first time in recent years, the country will send a big number of athletes to the World Cross Country event, which will be held in Uganda next month. We hope the team we are sending will bring glory to our country, the championship is expected to attract over 700 athletes from all over the world,” he said.
He said in a bid to cast the net wide in search of talents which will compete in the Moshi event, AT organized tournaments in Singida, Manyara, Mara, Ruvuma and Zanzibar.
“This time around, we have tried to go to places to look for new talents, we visited zones, we have managed to unearth many talents, it’s AT’s hope that some of those unearthed talents will find their way into the team that will head to Uganda,” he said.
Gidabuday said in an effort to motivate athletes to perform well, AT has set a side 5.5m/- to be given to top 10 winners in every category of the national cross country championship.
He said the first winner will take home 400,000/-, the runner-up will receive 300,000/-, the third and fourth will walk away with 200,000/- and 100,000/-respectively.
The athlete that will take the fifth position will take home 90,000/-, while the rest in the top 10 positions will receive 80,000/-, 60,000/-, 50,000/- and 40,000/- each.
He also disclosed that response has been very good on places where the team will camp ahead of the Uganda event.
The AT official said they have received request athletics stakeholders from Kagera, Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions, who are willing to host the team’s camp for smooth preparations for the event.
He, though, said AT’s technical committee and the rest of the association’s officials are discussing the best suitable place for camping.
This will be the second time that Africa is hosting the World Cross Country championship. The last time the IAAF World Cross Country championship came to Africa was in 2007 in Mombasa, Kenya.