by Philip Richards

Rio Olympics 2016

Tanzania’s delegation to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in August will comprise of seven athletes, reports Daily News (July 2016). The country will be represented by 4 track-and-field athletes who will compete in the marathon, two swimmers and a Judoka. TOC Secretary General Filbert Bayi named the marathon athletes as Fabiano Joseph (men), Said Makula (men), Alphonce Felix Simbu (men) and Sara Ramadhan (women). The other three athletes who have booked their tickets to Rio are swimmers Hilal Hilal Hemed and Magdalena Moshi, both to compete in the 50m freestyle category and Andrew Mlugu in judo.

Although seven is a small number, it is an improvement on the numbers sent to London 2012. However, it continues to be disappointing that so relatively few athletes are competing given the obvious potential, especially when neighbouring Kenya is sending around 100 athletes. Furthermore, boxing is not represented as it was in 2012 due to financial difficulties experienced in sending boxers to qualifying events.
Tanzania has failed to win Olympic medal since the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, where the country won 2 silvers – Bayi himself in the steeplechase as well as long-distance runner Suleiman Nyambui.

Despite the challenges, let us wish Team Tanzania well!

STOP PRESS: The stand-out performance among Tanzania’s Olympic team was undoubtedly Alphonce Felix Simbu in the men’s marathon. His time of two hours and eleven minutes earned him fifth place, two and a half minutes behind the race winner, Eliud Kichoge of Kenya.

Alphonce Felix Simbu (extreme left) in the Rio marathon

Alphonce Felix Simbu (extreme left) in the Rio marathon

Even if Tanzanian swimmers do not return home from Rio, the sport is poised for brighter future following efforts by some schools and stake­holders to groom talent and find quality coaches. A good example is the ongoing swimming summer camp run by Dar es Salaam Swimming Club, and conducted by experts from Dubai-based Hamilton Aquatics. (Daily News)

Whilst the eyes of the world have inevitably been on Euro 2016 in France, congratulations must go to Young Africans who sealed a 26th domestic title with two matches to go, after beating Mbeya City 2-0 at the Sokoine Memorial Stadium in Mbeya in July. (The Citizen)

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