Huge turnout at JM Busha meet

HARARE - The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) vice president Enias Nhoro is convinced the JM Busha 54 Races will soon become one of the country’s biggest sporting calendar event as more than 400 athletes took part in the inaugural competition at the weekend.

The JM Busha 54 Races National Peace Pledge Marathon, which is set for May 25, was launched in Harare last month, with the organisers unveiling a four-year partnership with the Naaz worth around $300 000 annually.

At the weekend, the JM Busha track and field triangular series commenced attracting some of the country’s top athletes at the National Sports Stadium B Arena with the second series now scheduled for Bulawayo next month at White City Stadium.

Nhoro said they were overwhelmed by the turnout adding that they only expect the tournament to grow in leaps and bounds.

“This was our first series competition for the JM Busha track and field competition and I should say the turnout was beyond our expectations. I can assure you this tournament is going to be the biggest thing on the sporting calendar in the country,” Nhoro said.

“We had quite a huge turnout of more than 400 athletes and we had over 12 heats in the men’s category and 10 heats in the women’s category.

“We want to think that more athletes will come in the Bulawayo meet. The next leg will be in Bulawayo on March 11 and we are expecting another huge turnout.”

Nhoro also lauded the level of competition displayed by the athletes.

“The quality of the competition was very impressive and we are hoping it will be even better when we get to the finals in May because remember it’s still only the start of the season and most athletes are not yet 100 percent fit,” he said.

Nhoro also explained that: “The two legs are being used as qualifiers for the JM Busha 54 Marathons Race which will be held in Harare on May 25 this year. Top 16 athletes that score highest points in the Harare and Bulawayo meet will automatically qualify and will also stand a chance to then participate in the Southern Region Senior Championships, World Youth Championships among other competitions later this year.”

Weekend’s races included 800m, 400m, 200m 100m and also several field events like javelin, long and triple jump among others. Some of the athletes who took part in weekend’s Harare meet include Tendai Zimuto, Moses Tarakinyu, Nyasha Mutsetse and Canisious Nyamutsita.

The JM Busha is a non-profit organisation involved in social investment programmes aimed at promoting sport, education, peace, stability, harmony and unity among people and nations.

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