Posted on6 July, 2016 | 22:36

Rio medal haul assailable - coach

NATIONAL Athletic coach Francis John has brushed aside the prevailing notions that the country should not expect any medal in the Rio Summer Olympic scheduled for August 5 to 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, due to poor preparations.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday from West Kilimanjaro where the athletic team has since February pitched its training camp for the Rio Summer Olympic games, Coach John said he believed his athletes will execute their duties well to meet the expectation of many Tanzanians by clinching medals.

Francis John has been supervising the training of the three athletes - Fabian Joseph, Said Makula and Alphonce Felix - who had met the Olympic Games qualification standards for several months, said he believed that the runners will perform well their duties because they are qualified for them.

“As coach I believe my team is going to perform well because we have been training intensively for all those months in readiness for the games. I’m satisfied with their performance and improvement in their standards.

I see them now fit to undertake Olympic assignment after several trials outside the country,” he said. Coach John unveiled that Alphonce Felix and Fabian Joseph had satisfactory results in their trial in Japan as they settled in the third and fifth positions respectively, while Makula clinched the fourth place in Korea marathon which he participated as part of drill for Rio games.

Meanwhile, Coach John has also unveiled that Sarah Ramadhan, whose qualification was announced recently, has already joined the team in finalising preparation, making the total number of runners to represent the country in the Rio Olympic Games to four.

Commenting on her quality and standard, the coach said: “The sprinter is in good shape as she has been training individually before her qualification was approved recently by the IAAF and she has proved to be ready for the games by becoming first in France.”

Recently, the head of the country’s delegation to Rio Games was quoted as saying that Tanzanians should not have any expectations of medals in the forthcoming 31st edition of the Olympic Games and call upon sports associations and federations to focus in advance to prepare for the Tokyo 2020 games.

In the Rio Summer Olympic Games, Tanzania is expected to be represented by eight athletes, four marathoners, two Judokas and two swimmers.

Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC), Suleiman Jabir unveiled yesterday that the country should not have any expectations of a medal in the forthcoming games and called upon the sports association to focus in advance on preparation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He said hopes of clinching medals in Rio has faded due to ill preparations of the athletes.

He had insisted the country to start giving the athletes game plan for the next Olympic games, which will be held in Japan in 2020. In another development, the Boxing Federation of Tanzania (BFT) has unveiled that no Tanzanian boxer has qualified for the Rio Olympic after the team failed to participate in all the qualifications events due to financial constraints.

The 2016 Summer Olympic programme will feature 28 Olympic sports and a total of 41 disciplines and 306 events where more than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), including from South Sudan for the first time, will take part in this sporting event.

These sporting events will take place at 33 venues in the host city and additionally at 5 venues in the cities of Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília and Manaus. In the last Summer Olympics held in 2012 in London, United Kingdom, Tanzania through the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) sent a total of six athletes which was said to be the smallest delegation to the Games since 2000 which included four men and two women and competed only in athletics, boxing and swimming.

However, the country failed to win its first ever Olympic medal since the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, where Filbert Bayi won a silver medal in 3,000m steeplechase runner and Suleiman Nyambui claimed another silver in 5,000m after finishing behind the Ethiopian winner, Mirutz Yifter.





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