A Zimbabwean athlete, Ngonidzashe Ncube missed qualification for the Tokyo Olympics by less than a minute, when he clocked 2 hours 12 minutes 25 seconds, to finish on position 33.
The qualifying time was set at 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds, for the men’s marathon while for women the time is 2 hours 29 minutes 30 seconds.
Ncube’s training partner Mpofu also missed the Tokyo Olympics qualifying time after finishing the race in 2 hours 13 minutes 31 seconds to settle for position 36.
The quartet of Munyaradzi Jari, Ngonidzashe Ncube, Isaac Mpofu and Fortunate Chidzivo represented Zimbabwe in the Xiamen Marathon and Tuscany Camp Global Elite Race.
Jari was number 46, in 2 hours 17 minutes 44 seconds. Speaking after the competition, he said he was disappointed by the result which he attributed to the cold weather. He said:
I am disappointed. I was looking forward to qualifying. I believe I could have done better, and even qualified, but I don’t know what happened to my body.
I failed to respond to the weather, it was too cold.
The race was tough and I didn’t do well.
After a good show at the World Half marathon, there was high hope for Chidzivo, in the women’s section but, she found the going tough yesterday and could not finish the race.
Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui was the first to cross the finish line in 2 hours 5 minutes 47 seconds in the men’s category.
Abdifufa Nigassa of Ethiopia was second in 2 hours 5 minutes 57 seconds, followed by Morocco’s Othmane Elgoumri, with a time of 2 hours 6 minutes 18 seconds.
The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, and also known as Tokyo 2020, were scheduled to be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
They were initially scheduled to be held in 2020 but were postponed to this year following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.