Olympics team boards flight to Rio next week

25Jul 2016
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Olympics team boards flight to Rio next week

SEVEN-MEMBER Tanzania Olympic team is expected to board a Rio de Janeiro bound flight next week, the Tanzania Olympics Committee’s secretary general Filbert Bayi confirmed in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

The official flagging off ceremony will be held next Monday ahead of boarding the long-haul flight, so says Bayi.
Bayi said his committee has communicated to Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Nape Nnauye to be the guest of honour at the event.

He said the country’s athletes will depart to Brazil in batches and the first group comprising of athletics and judokas will leave the country on August 2.

Bayi ruled out the possibility of having a short camp (gathering of athletes at one venue) sponsored by government, saying it is impossible as athletes will not fly on the same day, but said all athletes are undergoing intensive trainings at their respective venues.

“We have invited the responsible minister (Nape Nnauye) to handover the national flag to the team travelling to Brazil on Monday next week, but he has not responded to us, maybe he was busy with party assignment in Dodoma, all the preparations for the games are going on very well and I am told all athletes are undergoing intensive tracings at their various bases”, he said.

He said he hopes the country has a very competitive team that should perform better than what was seen at previous Olympics edition in London 2012.

“To me this year’s athletics Tanzania (AT) has done well in terms of preparations for the Rio Games, all the four athletes attained qualifying time and they are undergoing intensive training in Kilimanjaro, I do not want to put our athletics under unnecessary pressure and talk about medal hopefuls; but I can say the four are very competitive athletes,” he said.

He could not comment on other sporting disciplines, judo and swimming which will also represent the country at the Games, but at the previous interview he said the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part.

Tanzania, at the Games which gets underway from August 5-21 will be represented by seven members from athletics, swimming and Judo.

The athletes to represent the country are Alphonce Sumbu, Saidi Makula, Fabien Joseph and Sara Ramadhan all qualified while swimmers Hilal Hilal and Magdalena Mushi and Judokas Andrew Thomas will travel to Brazil on Universality wildcard ticket.

Others who will make the trip include Chef de Mission Suleiman Jabir while Nassoro Matuzya is team doctor, Francis John is athletics coach, Alexander Mwaipasi is trainer for swimmers while Zaidi Omar is trainer for judokas.

Minister Nnauye, TOC secretary general and his chairman Gulam Rashid will travel to Rio on their official capacity.
Meanwhile, Bayi has disclosed that Tanzania Rio Olympic team doctor Nassoro Matuzya joins athletics camp in Kilimanjaro today, he said the former Dar es Salaam Young Africans (Yanga) doctor delayed to start his duties as he was busy with his employer, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

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