Fast-track campaign to groom world class athletes


SERENGETI Boys are on the limelight now as the country’s envoys in the African Youth Championship in Gabon.

They focus on marathoner Alphonce Simbu who recently excelled in various international events. Alphonce and Mbwana Samatta, who now plays professional soccer in Belgium, are distinguished flag-bearers of the country’s sports excellence.

Infact they become very distinctive because the country is short of the sportsmen and women of the world-class calibre, unlike in the past when athletes like Filbert Bayi, Suleiman Nyambui, and Zakaria Barie, Simon Mrashani or boxers Ahmed Tesha, Haji Ally, Michael Yombayomba or Habib Kinyogoli had taken international sports scene by storm.

Evidences include notable medals in big events ranging from Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, All African Games to even the World Boxing championship of which boxers Ahmed Tesha and Nassor Michael excelled.

It was a relief this week when Emanuel Giniki won the Kunming Half marathon in China and join Simbu in the campaign to restore the country’s pride in international sports.

With his arrival, we believe others will follow suit and, hopefully by 2020, Tanzania will have a strong team of medal winners in Tokyo Olympic Games, whose campaign was motivated by Simbu after he ended fifth in the games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Giniki is a promising long distance runner and if technically developed he will be ripe for the medal chase in Japan by 2020. Gidamis Shahanga, the only Tanzanian to win two gold medals in Club Games deserves praise for grooming young Giniki.

Giniki said he began to learn the game more professionally under the tutelage of widely experienced trainers such as Shahanga, who is still based in Hanang as sports and cultural; official.

We have now three years before the Tokyo 2020 is staged, therefore the athletics governing body(AT) must from now prepare progressive plan to recruit and groom young athletes ahead of the event, As time is running short, we insist the Athletics Tanzania (AT) to start now identifying and recruiting young talented runners from the grassroots level as the country has been endowed with many good runners but lack professional training to achieve internationally.

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