Descent Dube, Sports Reporter
FOUR athletes from Matabeleland South claimed gold medals in the inter-provincial track and field and JM Busha 54 competitions held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare at the weekend.
The highlight was Maphisa Athletics Club’s Elizabeth Ndlovu’s triumph in the 5 000m race, with the 16-year-old athlete displaying one of her best performances to win in a time of 18 minutes and 0.62 seconds.
Ndlovu won the 1 500m and 3 000m in last year’s edition. Faith Nyathi from Bulawayo province was second in 18:16:93.
Another Matabeleland South athlete Elvis Mashila from Kafusi High School, who trains with Ekhaya Kip Keino Children’s Home Athletics Club in Makwe won gold in the 800m junior men’s competition, crossing the finishing line in 1 minute 54.62 seconds.
Prissy Mpofu from Matopo High School was victorious in the women’s long jump with a leap of 5.50m.
Lushongwe Secondary School learner, Precious Dube, claimed gold in the 400m hurdles in 1 minute 7.95 seconds.
Matabeleland South sent 10 athletes, two seniors and eight juniors, to the inter-provincial competition and JM Busha 54 competitions led by Zibusiso Nyoni, Qiniso Khabo and Raven Takura.
Nyoni said they were excited by their team’s achievement, as it was beyond expectations.
“Things went well for our small number of athletes that went to Harare. We had to leave some athletes behind due to financial challenges, but the results were awesome as all our athletes performed very well and that makes us proud as a province,” said Nyoni.
“The lack of support from the business community has affected a lot of talent in our province. We had a number of athletes with great potential to represent Zimbabwe on the international stage, but failed to travel due to lack of support.
“Most of them end up migrating to other countries in search of jobs and that has led to the loss of talent on our part,” Nyoni said.
Matabeleland South claimed a total of 11 medals to settle for third place behind Harare and Mashonaland Central, who came first and second respectively.