Olympics reception for athletes

The Zimbabwe Diaspora Olympic Support Network has prepared a welcome for the country’s London 2012 Olympics team.

Six Zimbabweans have qualified to participate in a range of fields in the Olympics, slated for July 27 to August 12. A further 14 are on the fence and a final push could see them make the cut.

The six who have qualified are top swimmer Kirsty Coventry, Micheen Thornycroft and Jamie Fraser MacKenzie (rowing), Gilbert Mutandiro, Cuthbert Nyasango and Wirimayi Zhuwawo (marathon).

Knox Chitiyo, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Olympic Support Network, recently told The Zimbabwean that he was looking forward to the team’s arrival, adding that the network would give support to athletes and supporters throughout the games.

“There is a lot of interest from the Diaspora in these games; many people, even British people, are really interested to see the Zimbabwean team and meet their supporters,” said Chitiyo.

, who is also the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee Representative in the UK.

“It looks like it could be a very exciting few weeks because, although our primary purpose is providing support for the Olympics team, we’re really trying to promote Zimbabwean sport and culture in the build up to the games as well.”

Record-holder Coventry remains the nation’s brightest medal prospect, following the news that star athlete, Ngoni Makusha, who won a Bronze medal at last year’s World Athletics Championships, has ruptured a tendon and will miss the games. Makusha had qualified for long jump and was still in line for 100 metres participation.

Chitiyo hopes to provide space for Zimbabweans and their friends to celebrate the games – and Zimbabwean culture – together. A welcoming party was tentatively scheduled for July 26, with a series of other events set to take place from late July through to mid-August.

“It will be a place for networking between Zimbabweans and athletes, and a platform to celebrate our successes and we would love Zimbabweans in the UK to come along and meet our athletes there,” said Chitiyo.

The Zimbabwean will provide more details as the games approach and check back here for interviews with the stars.

Post published in: Sport

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