Gem in the rough leaves mark at Tanganda race

MUTARE - Eighteen-year-old Admire Chiwurawa rose above the odds to cross the finish-line first in the 10km junior division of the Tanganda Half Marathon here yesterday.

The sprightly athlete, along with his Nyamandi High School colleagues, only arrived here at 5am, an hour before the race commenced.

They had left the Masvingo-based school at midnight and slept on the school bus as it journeyed the 260km trip to Mutare.

The rural school had settled for the unorthodox travel arrangements in an effort to cut food and accommodation costs.

Left to line up at the 10km starting peg fatigued and barefooted, it seemed there would be no fairy tale ending to his story.

But just like smoke always finds a way to rise to the top, Chiwurawa dusted himself up to blitz 34 minutes and nine second and claim the first prize in his category, some three seconds ahead of second-placed Nomore Mpiwa.

The sixth born in a family of eight, who journeys two kilometres to and fro school, was ecstatic after the race, believing his win was an omen of better things to come.

“I just have to keep running, you can never know with life this could become my career,” he said.

Chiwurawa’s coach Rameck Tarisai was happy with the progress made by his athlete who is only in his second year under his tutorship.

“I credit Admire’s win to our training regime. There are many other talented runners at the school but we have our constraints in getting to events,” he said.

“I was not surprised that he emerged a winner. We just have to keep motivating him so that he realises his full potential. ”

Meanwhile, Caroline Mhandu won the women’s 10km junior division in 39 minutes and 24 seconds, some 16 seconds ahead of second-placed Marian Pfumbidzai.

Nevia Mangodzo closed off the top three in 28 seconds later.

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