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Matobo teen qualifies for African Youth Champs

BULAWAYO-SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Elizabeth Ndlovu from Tjewondo Secondary School in Matobo district on Saturday qualified to represent Zimbabwe in the 3 000m at the African Youth Championship to be held in Côte d’Ivoire.

Ndlovu made the grade at the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) track and field youth qualifiers for the continental event set for April 16-20.

Ndlovu, who trains at the Maphisa Athletics Club founded by her coach Raven Takura, is now working on staying fit. She will miss the National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) inter-zonals to be held at St Sebastian Secondary school from February 27 to March 1, as she had been invited to attend an event in Pretoria, South Africa, on March 2.

“Elizabeth has achieved something that looked like a fantasy when we started this journey and we would like to thank Philani Mathiya-Ndlovu, who contributed $243, and Bokani Ndlovu, who have been supportive in all our events. We need to raise R3 000 for her to run in an invitational tournament at the University of Pretoria as part of her preparations for the Côte d’Ivoire competition,” said Takura.

Matabeleland South Athletics board chairperson Phakamile Lisimati said: “Two events are lined up in South Africa and we have been invited. We also believe that it will give our athletes a platform to have a feel of competing on the international stage. Elizabeth is one of the runners that have already qualified and we understand her rural background, thus we know the importance of her attending as many events as she can for her to gain experience.

“She is an exceptional athlete and we will assist her and her coach where possible as we want to ensure she takes part in the event in Pretoria and another one in Johannesburg on March 13. Going to South Africa will be crucial as it will put our athletes in a better position to prepare themselves when they’re go to face athletes from countries like Kenya and Ethiopia,” said Lisimati. — Chronicle

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