A TRAILBLAZER of medal hope is now vivid after Athletics Tanzania (AT) announced to have re-hired Ron Davis, the American athletics coach who helped Filbert Bayi and Suleiman Nyambui win the country’s only Olympic medals 38 years ago,
Davis comeback must be effectively used to fast track athletics revival, since the sport made Tanzania one of the great athletics nations in mid-1970s to late 1990s.
The two Olympic medals which later turned Tanzania a land of long distance races came from 3,000m steeple chase and 5,000m races.
The medal winners Bayi and Nyambui became influential figures in the disciplines after winning other international events besides the Moscow Olympic. But after the end of Davis tenure, Tanzanian increased their running distances to 42km full marathon. Growing interest in the long distance races almost killed sprints and field events, as no one was interested in 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles, 100m and 400m relays anymore.
We would like also to see AT working closely with Davis so that field events such as shot-put, discuss, javelin, high jump, long jump or triple jump are revived countrywide as it was a situation three decades ago.
AT must shift strategy as we want to see the country regularly producing world class sprinters. The country must start exposing the sprinters soon after Davis starts his work so that they can correct their mistakes ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
We think this is achievable–with the right training because talents are in abundance and the issue is coaching. We do not seem to have passionate coaches with the right knowledge and application for the event.
We think AT and the government must work together to provide resources for the sprinters and field events athletes, otherwise they will never realise their potential.
The AT Executive Committee found Davis to be a vital tool for our Tokyo 2020 campaign. We are sure he can groom other Bayi’s and Nyambui’s.
We believe that in a two-year period Davis will be able to search and prepare athletics potential into medal-winning personalities for Tokyo Olympics.
We are very hopeful that if Davis, who arrived in the country in 1979 took only six months to enable Bayi and Nyambui earn Tanzania the two high-valued Olympic medals, he can do better in the two-year period. Let’s support him.