by Philip Richards
Tanzania’s elite athletes are eagerly preparing for 2 significant events this year and hoping to improve the country’s medal record in recent times. First, the World Athletics Championships will take place in Beijing in August. Following that, the All Africa Games will be held in Congo-Brazzaville in September (which happens to be the 50th anniversary of the Games being held in the country who first hosted it in 1965).
Ismail Juma (5,000m), Alphonce Felix (10,000m), Ezekiel Ngimba and Fabiano Joseph (both marathon) have already run the necessary qualifying times in recent events and are expected to travel to both events, and other athletes in some shorter distances are also hoping to make qualification times (The Guardian, 14/7/15).
To help them achieve their goal, the sport has received an injection of Tsh 10m from TANAPA (Tanzania National Parks Authority).
Gloomy news continues on the Tanzanian national men’s football scene. After presiding over a string of defeats in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying round, most recently a 0-3 defeat at home to Uganda, Mart Nooij, the Dutch coach of Taifa Stars, has been sacked after 14 months in charge (BBC Sport website 22/6/15). It was reported that the team and coach were booed throughout the Uganda match and Nooij had to be shielded from angry fans by tight security (CCTV-Africa.com).
Yanga Sports assistant coach Charles Boniface Mkwasa now acts as interim coach whilst a permanent successor is found. The team has been drawn against Malawi in the opening 2-leg qualifying round in October for the 2018 FIFA World Cup; there remains a long journey ahead if the team are to have any chance of making the finals in Russia – if it happens there of course….
Unfortunately the women’s national team have not been faring much better as their under 20’s team went down 4-0 to Zambia in a qualifying game for the 2016 World Cup in Papua New Guinea.