Grace Chingoma, Harare Bureau
ZIMBABWE are one of four African countries that will take part at the IAAF World Relays in Japan where 26 nations will converge in Yokohama for the biggest relays meet.
The relays will be held this Saturday and Sunday.
The other African countries who will feature at the meet are South Africa, Botswana and Nigeria.
Dickson Kamungeremu, Dickson Clever Kapandura, Tatenda Tsumba, Itayi Vambe and Ngonidzashe Makusha will represent the country in the men’s 4x100m relay.
They are scheduled to leave for Japan today.
The Zimbabwean team are ranked seventh in the world from a strong pool of 26 countries, having posted a time of 38.95 seconds, which was also a national record
This feat was achieved by the quartet of Vambe, Makusha, Tsumba and Kamungeremu who came first at an international meet in 38.95 seconds in Botswana towards the end March this year.
On the continent, the Zimbabwe team have the second-best time.
South Africa qualified for this year’s World Relays with a time of 38.88 seconds although their national record in the 4x100m is 38.24 seconds.
Botswana qualified with a time of 39.01 seconds.
Nigeria qualified with a time of 40.21 seconds, however, their national record stands at 37.94.
Zimbabwe are also eyeing finishing in the top eight and qualify for the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September.
Yesterday, the relay team, which has been training at the University of Zimbabwe track under the guidance of coach David Tinago and assistant coach Keegan Cook, completed their home leg of the preparations.
Kamungeremu will be making his debut at an international meet.
“I am so excited as I am still an amateur in athletics. Botswana was my first competition so this is something new to me but I promise that we will make it.
“Our aim is to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
“After qualifying for the World Relays, our training sessions have become harder, training three times a day with track and gym sessions.
“We are looking forward to doing well and collecting any of the three medals on the podium, God willing. Everything is possible with God,” said Kamungeremu.
Kapandura, who is the youngest athlete in the team and turns 20 on the first day of the relays, is also excited.