THE stage has been set for the Tanganda Tea Half Marathon race in Mutare this morning with more than 500 athletes having confirmed participation.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Organisers of the event announced on Friday that rich pickings were in store for athletes who would perform well and break standing records in both the male and female categories of the event.
The current Tanganda Half Marathon record holders are Sharon Tavengwa who set a time of 1hr 18 mins 07 sec in 2012 in the female category while battle-hardened Wirimayi Juwawo holds the male category record after setting a time of 1hr 2min 43sec in the same year.
Last year’s winners, South Africa-based athlete Rutendo Nyahora and unheralded Jonathan Chinyoka failed to beat the records after posting 1hr 06min 51sec and 1hr 18min 43sec respectively.
For breaking the 2012 records, winners are set to get US$100 additional prizes and US$550 for coming first.
Other categories that will be on offer are the wheelchair 10 km marathon race and the 10km seniors and juniors races.
Top athletes who are expected to grace the tournament include Juwawo who is looking forward to rewrite history books by setting a new time record, close rival Cuthbert Nyasango and Chinyoka. Faith and Constance Nyasango are also set to make the headlines in the female category.
In an interview with Standardsport on Friday, the Manicaland Athletics board chairman Joshua Matume said they were now ready for the event.
“We are now ready to host the tournament. Preparations have been going on well. We are expecting at least 500 athletes to grace the event. Some top athletes have confirmed participation, so competition will be very tough just like any other year,” Matume said.
The main race is going to start in the morning at 6:30am followed by the 10km marathon race an hour later. The finishing line will be at Mutare Sports club.