Sprinter Michael Songore’s injury-inspired last minute withdrawal from the Iaaf World Youth Championships 200 metre race affected the 4×100 metre relay team which he was part of.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
The relay team had been scheduled to race on Friday at University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, USA.
Songore last Thursday injured his groin while warming up just before his race and his pulling out meant that his relay partners Kuda Nyahuma and Shingirai Hlanguyo will return home without competing.
The fourth partner Pride Lusinga finished fifth in heat seven of the 400m on Wednesday.
“Michael got injured during warm up and an Iaaf doctor advised him not to continue. That affected the relay team as well,” said Team Zimbabwe coach Silas Muringani.
Elitha Ncube, the only Zimbabwean female athlete at the championships came last in heat two of the 1 500m but clocked a personal best of 4:40.06 minutes.
The championships will however afford her preparations for next month’s Youth Olympics to be staged in Nanjing, China.
Team Zimbabwe arrived in Eugene without having camped due to the athletes’ high school commitments as well as financial challenges that saw nine other athletes who had qualified being dropped.
Muringani watered down high expectations on the teenagers, emphasising that focus was on development rather than medals.
Zimbabwe’s history at the World Junior Championships is marked by just two bronze medals.
Melfort Homela claimed bronze in 800m at Sadbury 1988 in Canada.
Ndabezinhle Mdhlongwa also had bronze in triple jump at the 1992 Seoul championships after jumping 16,57m.