The Sunday Mail
IT’S a shame that the human body only has two eyes because it makes keeping an eye on everyone and everything virtually impossible!
At least, that is the gospel according to Zimbabwe athletics’ team manager Nyasha Muchochomi.
The Kyros Sports henchman has been roped in as the relay team’s manager, and was on hand to welcome back the four – Ngoni Makusha, Dickson Kamungeremu, Itayi Vambe and Tatenda Tsumba — from their underwhelming trip to Asia for the World Relays Championships last weekend.
“I was supposed to travel with the team to Japan, but due to financial constraints l had to sit this one out,” said the Kyros Sports Business Development Director.
While the relay team was disqualified during the Heat stages in Japan, Muchochomi maintains that the trip was a success.
“It’s unfortunate that the team got disqualified, but the trip was not a total waste,” said Muchochomi.
“Qualifying for the event was an achievement on their part, it brings us closer to our Olympic dream.
“There is no substitute for the kind of experience and exposure they got simply by being there, rubbing shoulders with the fastest men in the world, sharing dining rooms, notes and experiences with the Justin Gatlins of this world,” he said.
The Sports Media organisation is currently managing a greater pool of hopefuls for the country’s athletics team.
Besides the relay quartet, the list also includes the high jump duo of Kudakwashe and Munyaradzi Chadenga as well as the United States-based pair of sprinters Shingi Hlanguyo and Tinotenda Matiyenga.
The relay team as well as Hlanguyo and Matiyenga have all qualified for this year’s All Africa Games, while the Chadenga brothers hope to book their tickets at next month’s Southern Africa track and field event in Botswana.
But the Olympics remain the biggest target.
“It’s been roughly two and a half years since we embarked on this journey to revive athletics in Zimbabwe and produce as many athletes as possible for the Olympics,” said Muchochomi.
“There has been steady, even encouraging improvements.
“Look at Makusha (Ngoni). When we met him, he was running at 10.80 seconds in the hundred-meter race, but he has cut that to 10.08. “We have worked on his time, diet, fitness and general health and he is just one of the many athletics that have shown that gradual improvement.
“Part of my job is to monitor and help these athletes, a task made difficult when you count that two of them are in the US.
“I am in constant contact with both Shingi (Hlanguyo) and Tino (Matiyenga); talking to them weekly, watching footage of their meets, monitoring their times and talking with their coaches,” he said.
Given that Hlanguyo and Matiyenga remain in the picture, Muchochomi and coach David Tinago have a tough decision to make with regards to the make-up of the relay team for the African Games in Morocco. A win will guarantee them a place at next year’s Olympics.
“Yes, decisions will indeed have to be made. We have a very healthy pool of sprinters this time around and I think we may have to go the trials route.
“There is the fear of tinkering with team chemistry, after all these boys have been together for some time now.
“Whatever decision is made, you can be rest assured that we will put our best foot forward,” he said.