Zimwara eyes Rio 2016

HARARE - Zimbabwean sprinter Francis Zimwara (pictured) has set his sights on qualifying for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics when he takes part in next month’s All-Africa Games.

The former Ziscosteel athlete was forced to watch the 2012 London Games on television after missing out on the qualification time by mere seconds.

The 26-year-old athlete, now based in South Africa, says he is determined to make his country proud in Congo, Brazzaville next month.

“It’s really important to put a marker down and nail Olympic qualification.

“This being my second All- Africa Games meet I think I do stand a better chance winning a medal and qualify for the Olympics in Brazil next year,” Zimwara told the Daily News on Sunday.

“This platform will give me a chance to compete with the best athletes in Africa. It’s everyone’s dream to participate at the Olympics and this is my best chance so I hope I will give a good account of myself at the games.”

During the 2011 All-Africa Games in Mozambique, Zimwara finished fourth in the 100m race. His progress was hindered in 2012 when he picked a hamstring injury before the 200m final race at the Africa Senior Championships in Marrakech, Morocco that year.

“I have been training hard and my target is to make the mark even though I know it will be tough because I will be competing with world class athletes, most of them world champions but that is the beauty about it.

“It all comes out to who the best athlete on the day would be. This helps me to improve my time,” he added.

Last year he took part in the Africa Senior Championships in Morocco before finishing fourth in the final.

Zimwara has also participated in several meets in South Africa.

He has, however, pleaded with the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) to do more to empower young athletes, many of whom are failing to realise their full potential due to lack of resources.

“Yeah, things are tight these days but it will be nice for Naaz to empower athletes as is the case in most countries.”

 

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