Jari ready for Lagos Marathon

HARARE - Zimbabwe long distance runner Munyaradzi Jari is readying himself for the Lagos Marathon in Nigeria where he hopes do well and boost his chances of qualifying for the World Championships next year.

The third Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label Race that will be held on February 10 following its certification as Bronze Label Marathon with routes officially measured, and with a goal to achieve Gold Label within the next two editions.

Athletes who qualify and participate in this 2018 edition are automatically recognised and eligible for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April.

About 100 000 participants are expected to participate this year while the prize money has been upped to 3 million naira across all categories.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police Athletics Club athlete had a good build-up towards the Lagos race after claiming first position in the Nyaradzo Hac 32km Memorial Run at Old Georgians Sports Club in Harare a fortnight ago.

“This will be my first time to race in Lagos after getting the invitation this year but I believe I have done the best that I could in terms of preparations although lately the rains have been making it a bit difficult to run on muddy surface,”  Jari told the Daily News yesterday.

“I’m scheduled to leave for Lagos this afternoon and my aim in this maiden race will be making it into the top 10 and God-willing top three and also qualify for the World Championships next year. Basically I have to finish my race under 2:18:30. This will be good for me because it will also open other doors for me to invites to compete in more events in future.”

The 27-year-old recorded a personal best of 2:14 minutes in last year’s Mosselbay Marathon in South Africa which is pretty much within the required cut-off time to qualify for the World Champs and it should not be much of a problem for him if he is to maintain this standard.

He finished in number one at this race and only the course and terrain will tell as he is entering Lagos, Nigeria for the first time.

“Finishing within that required time should be enough to take me to the World Champs but may be forced to do more races if there are other athletes who would have already qualified because only three people per country are legible to participate at the World Championships,” Jari said.

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