Lack of motivation frustrates athletics development in Iringa-official

09Oct 2021
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Lack of motivation frustrates athletics development in Iringa-official

​​​​​​​LACK of interest in athletics among Iringa residents contributes to the region's failure to perform well in domestic competitions, the regional athletics committee stated.

Female runners battle it out in a recent National Athletics Championship in Arusha.

Iringa Athletics Committee's Chairman, Motory Hangali, said the quota for the region at this year's National Athletics Championships is three but, up to date, the region has not disclosed any athlete to feature at the championships.

"It's very painful that our region's quota at the coming National Athletics Championships, which will be held at Sheikh Abeid Stadium in Arusha, is three places but as I am speaking to you we have not identified any athlete to represent the region," he said.

Hangali, National Athletics Championships' winner in 1995 and 1996 editions, however, said they are hoping to send one athlete to this year's championships. He could not shed more light on the athlete.

The official revealed: "There is one athlete, who is willing to go to the championships in Arusha, if everything goes well he will represent the region.''

''I don't know more about him, what I know is that his name is James, maybe our coach, Hayuma Baha, knows him better.''

He attributed the predicament to the lack of athletics events in the region, saying unlike other regions, Iringa has one event, Asas Marathon.

"People in this region need to be motivated to take part in athletics, here very few people follow athletics, I think it is caused by failure to organize many events,'' the official disclosed.

''We must encourage Asas to continue organizing athletics events and inviting others to come in," he said.

Meanwhile, Micheal Washa who heads the technical department of Athletics Tanzania, said 24 regions have confirmed to compete at the National Championships.

2020 National Championships were held at Dar es Salaam's Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

The National Athletics Championship was taking place after five years of absence and TOC sponsored the event with funding from Olympic Solidarity (OS) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA).

Mbaraka James from Tanga was the winner in the men's 1500m race, beating national team athletes Gabriel Geay and Epimak Boniface.

James won the 1500m in 3:47.12. Coast Region is the National Athletics Championship's defending champion.

The region won six gold medals, nine silver medals, and four bronze medals while Arusha took the second spot with five gold medals, seven silver, and four bronze medals. Unguja South ended third with two gold medals, a silver medal, and a bronze medal.

Zanzibar’s, Urban West was fourth with two gold medals, one silver, and five bronze medals, hosts Dar es Salaam finished fifth with two gold medals and two bronze medals while Dodoma and Kilimanjaro were tied on the sixth position by winning one gold medal, silver medal and bronze medal apiece.

Mbeya, who won one gold medal and two silver medals, ended seventh, Tanga finished eighth with one gold medal, Mwanza and South Pemba took ninth and 10th spots by winning one gold medal and two silver medals respectively.

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