THE National Athletics of Zimbabwe have released qualification guidelines for the next year’s All Africa Games.
The 13th African Games are set for Accra, Ghana from March 8 to 23 next year with Zimbabwe currently having five athletes, who have already qualified.
Those qualified include United States-based sprinter Tapiwanashe Makarawu (200m), Takudzwa Chiyangwa (400m), Kelvin Chiku (5000m), Simbarashe Maketa (200m) and High jumper Kudakwashe Chadenga.
Naaz yesterday released guidelines that will see athletes having to participate in local and international competitions.
In the 100m, male athletes have to run and qualify under 10.1 seconds while female athletes have to run it in 11.2 seconds for automatic qualification.
In the 200m, male athletes have to run it under 20.3 seconds while female athletes have to meet 22.9 seconds to qualify.
In the high jump, male athletes have to jump 2.30m while females have the obligation to jump 1.90m.
Naaz president Tendai Tagara said:
“We are embarking on the preparations for the 2024 athletics calendar that will start very early this year because of the heavy activities that are in the 2024 calendar.
“We have made it as an association that we give athletes qualifying standards for the championships so that they prepare.
“We are trying by all means to make sure that we set the standards that will make sure that when our athletes go out there, they will represent us and perform well to meet the global standards.
“So we have already set the standards for the All Africa games, Africa Senior Championships and we have sent them to the athletes and coaches so that they work and prepare accordingly knowing what is expected of them.
“The standards of the qualifying times are very important because if you look at the performances of all the athletes who went to the 2022 Africa Senior championships in Mauritius by those standards, you see that their performance was encouraging which resulted in one of them getting a bronze medal.
“So those are the standards that we want to maintain as the federation, the standards that ensure that when we send athletes they should represent us well and be recognised by their top performance.
“We want to deal away with mediocre performance come 2024 and we want to ensure that we send the best athletes to compete at the global level.”
“We want to ensure that the calendar is released by the end of October so that athletes start to prepare.
“We are also going to use the same standards to prepare for the 2024 Olympics which will be in July and August.
“We know such competitions are taxing in terms of qualifying, so we need to start preparing early and ensure that everything is in place as early as possible and distribute to clubs and all the stakeholders.
“We are going to be stricter and ensure that those standards are followed because we want to improve and ensure that we produce and send the best athletes for the international competitions.
“So we want to promote a situation where the standards set will ensure that good athletes will select themselves.
“I do believe that the standards we have set will ensure that the best of the best will represent the country.”