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Athlete seeks to emulate sprinter Elliot Mujaji



Elliot Mujaji Paralimpian

Athlete seeks to emulate sprinter Elliot Mujaji. The 23-year-old says he will always be motivated by the retired Paralympian who won gold in the 100m race at the 2000 and 2004 Paralympic Games.

As he goes to participate at his first international event, at the Dubai 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix, T20 runner Albert Sigele is carrying the inspiration from his role model, Eliot Mujaji.

Since then, there has been no podium finish for Zimbabwe. But, as the local athletes left for Dubai yesterday for the event, which is a qualifying competition for the Tokyo Olympics Games, rookie athletes have vowed to do well and post-qualification times.

Chinhoyi-based Sigele believes he has worked hard enough to guarantee him success. “It is my first time to represent Zimbabwe. Some people look down upon Paralympic sport but my role model, Eliot Mujaji, went places, won several medals and got money from the President.

“That inspires me to keep working hard. I was assisted by coach, Kudakwashe Mhondiwa, and I feel I am ready. “I hope that if I do well I would be able to attract some sponsors who can continue to assist me in my career,” said Sigele.

Sprinter Vimbai Zvinowanda, who will compete in the 100m and 200m, will get the ball rolling for Team Zimbabwe on Thursday with the 100m race.

Together, with seasoned wheelchair racer Margret Bangajena and blade runner Pride Mafira, the trio’s times are good. “I am super excited to represent Zimbabwe for the first time, with the hope that we will excel.

“We trained well and I am confident that we will do well. The competition was tough at the qualifying level but l am glad l made it, tough training helped me,” said Zvinowanda.

Chef de Mission Ignatius Vambe, who is already in Dubai, said all was now set for the Games and believes the Zimbabwean team, which has received immense support from Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry, will do well.

“We are actually looking for a breakthrough at Paralympic level and hoping, with the kind of support we got this time, we should have a podium finish.

Elliot Mujaji

“I arrived on Tuesday to work on accreditation of the athletes, as well as the team management and delegates, coming for the Games. “We have worked on the issue to do with classification, it’s in order, as well as working on the other logistics.’’


Athletes: Makhosi Ncube, Vimbai Pamela Shumba, Simelinkosi Mbedzi, Mutsigiri Istrafel Zhou, Albert Sigele, Magret Bangajena, Vimbai Zvinowanda, Clement Nyoni, Pride Mafira.

Officials: Ignatius Vambe (Chef de Mission), Shephard Mukanhairi (administration and logistics), Pauline Tshuma (physiotherapist) Michael Bulagango (ZNPC), Mildred Baye (coach), Robert Musara (doctor)Tsitsi Enida Mugodzeri (finance), Fredrick Mafira (para equipment technician), Samson Chavhe (nurse), Oripa Mubika (ZNPC), Titus Zvomuya (country delegation), Alexander Mkandla (technical director), Tawanda Marimo (country delegation), Tinoda Machakaire (country delegation).

Source – The Herald





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