Tanzania may field only two athletes in Tokyo Olympics

06Apr 2021
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Tanzania may field only two athletes in Tokyo Olympics

TANZANIA could end up sending the smallest squad to the Summer Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23 to August 8 this year.

Tanzania Olympic Committee(TOC)'s Secretary General, Filbert Bayi.

The Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) secretary general, Filbert Bayi, issued the comments.

Bayi said that so far only two runners have secured qualification marks for the Tokyo Olympics.

A number of qualifying events have moreover been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, only runners, Alphonce Simbu and Failuna Abdi, have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

Bayi noted that the country's athletes required to seek qualification for Tokyo Olympics are judokas, boxers and swimmers.

He said boxing's qualifying event slated to be held in Paris, France, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The domestc boxers will, therefore, secure qualification via their ranking records.

But, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) will give priority to boxers, who qualify as per rules and regulations followed by their ranking records.

The TOC offial noted: “We hope that our boxers who did well in Dakar, Senegal, will be selected - although they did not reach the semifinal stage of the event.''

Two domestic swimmers, Collins Saliboko and Hilal Hemed, are required to compete in South Africa’s Olympic Games qualifying competition scheduled for April 7-12 in Port Elizabeth.

Also in April this year, domestic judokas are expected to travel to Casablanca, Morocco, to compete in qualifying events.

“Swimmers do not face such restrictions, and Saliboko is already in South Africa training ahead of the tournament,'' Bayi revealed.

He noted: ''The judokas, who are required to compete in Morocco’s qualifying events, up to now, do not know their fate,'' he noted.

Tanzania started to compete in the Olympics in 1964, which also took place in Tokyo, with four athletes representing the country.

Again, four athletes represented Tanzania in the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City.

In the 1972 Munich Olympics in Germany, Tanzania was represented by 15 sportsmen.

The country missed out on the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada. However, it sent 41 sportsmen to the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

The country then sent 18 sportsmen to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, USA.

Tanzania further sent 10 sportsmen to the 1988 Olympics in South Korea, nine sportsmen in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

Other Olympic Games, in which Tanzania participated in (with the number of the country’s participating sportsmen shown in brackets) were Atlanta-1996 (seven sportsmen), Sydney 2000 (four), Greece-2004 (eight), 2008 Beijing-2008 (eight); London-2012 (six), 2016 Rio de Janeiro-2016 (seven sportsmen).

However, not all the athletes met the set qualifying marks, as most of them competed on the ‘universality places’ basis.

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