AT 17, Marondera High School pupil, Takudzwa Muchichwa has set a national junior high jump record.
By Own Correspondent
The country’s promising athlete broke the previous record of 2,08 metres to set a record of 2,11 metres at the Zone Six Games held in Zambia recently.
What makes his record remarkable is that the junior record is just four centimetres away from the national senior men’s record set by Juma Phiri of Zvishavane in the early 90s.
As if this was not enough, Muchichwa was the only junior high jumper that represented Zimbabwe at the regional bi-annual showpiece where he finished second, grabbing a bronze medal as he managed to jump the final mark on the second attempt.
Muchichwa said: “This was my new personal best and I am proud to be the first young athlete to have made such a record at regional level. I was the only one who was representing the nation at the Zone Six Games in the high jump category,” Muchichwa said.
“Although there was stiff competition in Zambia participating with opponents from the host nation, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, I tried my best. I came second behind a South African guy who won gold because he made it with the first attempt while I won silver because I managed with a second attempt before we all failed to jump at 2,13m.”
The young athlete expressed gratitude to his coach Silas Muringani.
“Tribute must go to my coach Muringani whom I can say has been instrumental to my success. I also used the Youth Games that were held in Bindura in August last year as a platform for my preparations,” Muchichwa added.
The teenager however, appealed for proper equipment if the nation is to promote junior athletes in the high jump category.
“We might have the talent in the country, but if we are not provided with proper training material, we will struggle to sharpen our skills. Exposure is also a challenge as the National Association of School Heads (Nash) and Youth Games are the only school competitions that offer an opportunity for high-jump, unlike other sporting disciplines,” he said.
Muchichwa started high jump at a tender age of 10 and seems to be destined for greater heights.
“I started high jump in 2005 while I was at Beatrice Government Primary School. I used to be a footballer but when I gave it a try, I was fascinated and got carried away to an extent that I abandoned soccer,” Muchichwa said.
At the age of 17, Muchichwa has participated and won several medals, both regionally and locally.
In 2010, he won the gold medal at national level during the Nash tournament that was held in Kwekwe after a jump of 1,75m in the Under-16 category.
The following year (2011), he won a gold medal in the Under-18 category at the Youth Games in Gwanda with a jump of 1,93m.
In May that same year, he went for his first regional tournament at the Southern Region Youth Champions which were held in Namibia where he won bronze with a jump of 1,97m.
When Zimbabwe hosted the Southern Region Youth Championships, Muchichwa won the only gold medal for Zimbabwe with a jump of 2,02m after shaking-off the challenge from a South African.
Born in the capital on March 13 1995, Muchichwa attended Ruveneko Primary in Glen Norah from 2001-2004 before transferring to Beatrice Primary School in 2005-2007.
He is at Marondera High where he is doing his Upper Six in the commercial class taking Maths, Accounts and Business Studies.