Mighty Warriors coach wants early preps

HARARE - Mighty Warriors assistant coach Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda says the team need to start preparing early after sealing qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at the weekend.

The Mighty Warriors wrote their own piece of history by becoming the first football side in the country to qualify for the global sporting showpiece in Brazil next year.

Shadreck Mlauzi’s charges, who were almost disqualified from the tournament after failing to travel to Cote d’Ivoire, sealed an emotional qualification after eliminating Cameroon, who are ranked second in Africa. After losing 2-1 in the first leg, the Mighty Warriors turned the tables with a 1-0 win to go through on away goals rule after the tie had ended 2-2 on aggregate.

Zimbabwe have now joined hosts Brazil, South Africa, France, Germany and Colombia, who have so far qualified for Rio. And following that feat, Sibanda a former Mighty Warriors midfielder, says they have achieved their goal and attention now should be quickly turned to preparations for the tournament.

“I am happy to qualify for the Olympics, a global showpiece and we are very grateful for the support we got, especially from the ministry of Sport,” Sibanda said.

“They put everything in place for us to travel to Cameroon for the first leg and made sure we got into camp in time for the second leg. And also credit should go to the players for putting up a brave fight.

“It’s great history for Zimbabwe and I am sure from here the corporate world will start supporting the game going forward. We are happy we are going there but the important thing will now go down to preparations.

“We need to start preparing now and this is the time where I think sponsors should join hands and support the good cause. Olympic Games are a big sporting event and everything will go down to preparations.”

Mighty Warriors skipper Felistas Muzongondi was also happy to be part of the history-making team.

“I feel so much excited because this is our first time to qualify for the Olympics in the history of football in the country,” she said.

“Very few were giving us a chance considering we were facing Cameroon one of the highly-ranked teams in Africa. We adjusted well and here we are. It was a tough game but we believed in ourselves and everything went well for us.”

The Mighty Warriors, now join an illustrious company of the Golden Girls of hockey who shocked the entire world by winning the gold medal in their first appearance at the showcase in 1980 in Moscow, Russia.

Other Zimbabwean sportspersons who have already sealed Rio qualifications are rowers Peter Gilpin and Michelle Thorncroft, long distance runner Wirimayi Juwao and swimmer Kirsty Coventry.

Comments (5)

Makorokoto makorokoto mwana sikana wakandipasa manyemwe ndichakutengera patapata apa wakagona,wakabaya dede nemukanwa.Good morning Rio

Nyamz - 20 October 2015

Mukwirwe nemaBrazilians we want footblalers from there . Our national team is not performing

Vasikanavedu - 21 October 2015

Well done amhlophe zintombi, All the best going forward!

Melusi Mthethwa - 22 October 2015

makorokoto mwanasikana you done us proud,go to Brazil & lift our flag high as underdogs. By God's grace more is coming. Its now football time

moses - 29 October 2015

Ialso thinkn that early preps include friendlies etc..the other thing is that dai magonawo kugadzira jersey rakanakawo uye risingasvike mutsapfun esp ma shorts evanasikana vedu,,ichi chikumbiro chokuti short racho ngarigadzirwe zvakanakawo zvisingakanganise kurova bhora

ghetto - 29 October 2015

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