AT picks four for Birmingham race

Fabian Joseph

Athletics Tanzania, AT, has selected four athletes who would represent the country in world marathon road race to be held in Birmingham city on October 11.

The AT’s assistant secretary general, Julius Msomi, named the long distance athletes as Damian Chopra, Shamba Cohmi and the Joseph brothers – Marko and Fabian.

The International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) sanctioned event would also attract world class athletes.

The four-team athletes are expected to board a Birmingham-bound flight via London two days ahead of the event.

Msomi was not in a position to say whether their Cuban coach would join the team in the flight to Birmingham or not.

However, efforts are underway to convince the Government for inclusion of the coach to bolster prospect of the team.

Msomi washed his hands as he declared that the members of the Birmingham-bound team have been selected on the basis of merit and not their past performance.

He said the athletes featured well in locally organised events in the likes of Vodacom half and Kilimanjaro full marathon events.

AT has come under fire by the public, especially after the poor show of Tanzanian athletes who flopped beyond anticipation in Berlin world biennial championship last month.

The lackluster performance was preceded by last year’s Beijing Olympics failure that sparked a barrage of criticism from fans and the athletics fraternity.

AT has been struggling to rebuild the tainted image as a result of the frequent failures that has left sports fans in the country at cross roads, while losing hope for the 2011 Commonwealth Games in India and the 2012 London Olympics.

AT’s secretary general Suleiman Nyambui has been dismissing the fact that his body downplayed the need to select competent athletes in the high profile world events that has cost the country medals.

Calls have been made by the general public for the AT leadership panel to step down but Nyambui and his colleagues draw optimism for the Tanzanian athletes to bounce back with medals at international stages.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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