Light at end of tunnel in athletic world for TZ

TANZANIA: TANZANIA’S long-distance runners have recently earned international recognition by bringing honour and glory to the country in various marathons across the world.

However, despite their recent achievements, Tanzania has not won an Olympic medal since 1980 when, in Moscow, Suleiman Nyambui won a silver medal in the men’s 5,000 metres and Filbert Bayi won a silver medal in the men’s 3000 metre steeplechase.

Tanzania first participated in the Olympic Games in 1964 and has sent athletes to every Summer Olympic Games, except for the 1976 games.

Tanzania has never participated in the Winter Olympic Games. Despite having plenty of athletic talent, Tanzania often plays second fiddle to the superpowers of Kenya and Ethiopia to its north.

With the dream of Tanzania dominating the world map, Tanzanians are reminiscing about Nyambui and Bayi, which demonstrated that although Tanzania has plenty of athletic talent, it so often has to play second fiddle to the superpowers of Kenya and Ethiopia to its north.

Tanzania is proud to be represented by names such as Alphonce Simbu, Gabriel Geay, Jackline Sakilu and Magdalena Shauri at the 2024 Summer Olympics from 26 July to 11 August. At the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Tanzania had three representatives; Geay, Simbu and Failuna Matanga.

None of them won a medal, but Simbu finished seventh in the marathon, and Failuna finished in 24th place. Tanzania’s last Olympic attendance with a large number of athletes was in Moscow in 1980 when they sent 41 athletes. In other years of participation, Tanzania has sent less than 10 athletes.

Tanzania’s long-distance runners have a chance to excel through athletes such as Simbu, who recently won third place in the 2024 Daegu International Marathon in Korea, finishing the race in two hours, seven minutes, and 55 seconds.

In addition to securing third place, Simbu earned 45,000 US dollars, equivalent to 115,939,440/- in local currency.

He has also excelled in other marathons, including the Osaka Marathon in 2023, where he won third place after clocking 2:06:19, and the Telepass Milano Marathon in 2022, where he also won third place after clocking 2:06:20. He also recorded his personal best time of 2:05:39 at the Shanghai Marathon in 2023.

His record defines how capable he is and his chances of excelling at this year’s Olympic Games. If you compare his recent record to the last Olympic Games in 2020 where he secured seventh place with a time of 2:11:35 it clearly shows there is a chance he can complete the marathon among the top runners at this year’s games.

Geay is also on the rise to dominate the long-distance run in Tanzania as he has already broken the national record twice. He broke the national record after recording 2:04:55 in his marathon debut in Milan in 2021, which qualified him for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

After setting a new record, Geay went on to set a new national record after clocking 2:03:00 at the 2022 Valencia Marathon, which stands as the ninth-fastest of all time. He finished second in the marathon at the 2023 Boston Marathon after clocking 2:06:04.

Tanzania’s long-distance runner will compete in this month’s Boston Marathon, where he left the country yesterday. The run is scheduled for Monday. Geay is among the runners with a good record and might make an impact at this year’s Olympic Games.

Magdalena Shauri is another runner expected to make an impact at this year’s Olympic Games. She holds the Women’s National marathon record, which she broke last year by six minutes, finishing third in the Berlin Marathon.

Banuelia’s record remained unbroken for 21 years until Magdalena broke it, clocking 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 41 seconds, beating the previous record of 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 59 seconds by over six minutes.

Jackline Sakilu is also expected to star in this year’s Olympic Games, holding a good record, including her recent first-place finish at the Chang’an Automobile Chongqing Marathon last month, where she clocked 2:21:27. She also finished eighth in the Shanghai Marathon last November after clocking 2:26:50.

Related Articles

Back to top button