National Cross Country Championship
Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) successfully hosted the National Cross Country Championship at its sports pavilion on Saturday.
This competition was used by the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe to select athletes who will represent Zimbabwe in Australia for the World Cross Country Championships set for March.
Provinces rotate hosting the competitions so for Mashonaland Central province, BUSE’s facilities and expertise were deemed ideal for the task.Three-time long-distance Olympian and BUSE coach Cuthbert Nyasango mapped the 2km course which athletes ran in a loop. With various obstacles, ranging from gentle slope descents to rough terrain and sharp inclines, the course was designed to test the athletes’ endurance, tenacity and race management skills.
Teams from around the country thronged BUSE. Almost a hundred athletes from as far as Gwanda participated in 12 categories ranging from Under 12 to 40 and over.BUSE’s National Sports Academy (NSA) fielded recently identified talentees Paidamoyo Shekede, Christian Musekiwa and Junior Kondoni.
Of the three, only Paidamoyo triumphed, winning gold in the Under 12 girls’ 1km race. She completed the course in 4.03 minutes. She, however, will not be part of Team Zimbabwe as the World Cross Country Championships are only open to seniors.
Police Officer, Olivia Chitate from Harare province, qualified to represent Zimbabwe after completing her 10km race in 38.55 minutes.
“I am happy to have won the race. The course was very challenging but I had to be strong,” said Chitate after winning the contest. She was joined by Manicaland’s Blessing Waison who completed the 10km course in 31.07 minutes, winning the senior men’s race.
Waison said this after the race, “The competition was very tough. The course was also challenging as it had contrasting conditions. You would come out of the bush and gravel road into the tarred stretch and soon after up a steep hill.”
NSA’s Titus Nyathi finished the race in position 14 in a time of 35.30 minutes.