THE Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee (ZNPC) is hopeful local athletes will qualify for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games to be held from September 7 to 18 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZNPC secretary-general Lewis Garaba yesterday told NewsDaySport that no local athlete had been confirmed for the Rio Paralympics as they were still awaiting confirmation from the International Paralympic Committee.
“We recently wrote to the International Paralympic Committee seeking clarification on some of our athletes who took part at the All-Africa Games in Congo. We are yet to hear if their times were good enough to meet the qualifying standards, but we are hopeful,” he said.
Four local athletes — Faustina Madziva, Laina Sithole, Shepherd Gumede and Lucky Chitimbe —competed in athletics for the visually impaired at the All-Africa Games in Congo three months ago.
However, from the quartet, only Sithole, a T12 visually impaired sprinter, managed to return with a medal after scooping a bronze in 100m which enhanced her chances of qualifying for the Rio Paralympics.
At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Zimbabwe was represented by wheelchair tennis player Nyasha Mharakurwa and sprinter Elliot Mujaji.
Mharakurwa reached the second round of the men’s singles competition where he lost to the eventual gold medallist Shingo Kunieda from Japan, while Mujaji, who retired soon after the Games, failed to progress from the heats of the T46 category