SPORT

by Philip Richards

Football
Despite high hopes reported in TA 105, and valiant efforts recognized across the spectrum of Tanzanian society and media, Taifa Stars have sadly failed to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. A 2-1 defeat away to Morocco at the beginning of June always made the game a week later against Ivory Coast (top of the FIFA rankings in Africa) a difficult mountain to climb.

Kim Poulsen’s team bowed out of their campaign with a 4-2 defeat in front of a home crowd in Dar, leaving the remaining away game in September against Gambia merely a matter of maintaining pride. Disappointingly, Tanzania have also failed to qualify for the 2014 African Nations Championship, after a 4-1 aggregate defeat against Uganda. As a result of this and the World Cup exit, the national side have dropped 7 places to 128 in the FIFA rankings. (Daily News)

Athletics
Tanzania sent two athletes to the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow in August. The country’s hopes lay with Faustine Mussa and Mohamed Msenduki, who both competed in the men’s marathon. Alas neither Mussa nor Msenduki were able to bring home a medal, finishing 34th and 39th respectively.
On the domestic front, exciting news that a 2500 seat indoor stadium in Dar is expected to be ready for use by November this year. The Filbert Bayi Indoor Stadium, named after the legendary Tanzanian middle distance runner, will cater for various sports including the construction of an athletics track.
On a less positive note, it has been reported that the national athletics body (Athletics Tanzania) may struggle to run the national champion­ships in Morogoro due to lack of funds. (The Citizen)

Swimming
Three swimmers represented Tanzania at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona but did not advance beyond the heat stages.

Cycling
While Chris Froome’s victory in this year’s Tour de France captured the public imagination in the UK (and to a lesser extent, Kenya, where Froome was borne and began his cycling career), much work is being done to rebuild the reputation and organisation of cycling as a sport in Tanzania.
An example of this is an identification camp recently held in Babati District, Manyara Region. Attended by prominent overseas cyclists, the camp produced four local cyclists who went on to represent Tanzania in the 900km Tour Cycliste du Congo. Maybe we will see a Tanzanian at the start line in Yorkshire next year for the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France ! (The Citizen)

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