by Philip Richards
XXI Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia
TA119 reported that Team Tanzania were sending 16 hopeful athletes to the 21st Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, with the country being represented in athletics, boxing, swimming and table tennis. Unfortunately, the performance was a disappointment as no medals were brought back home, continuing a trend as this is the 3rd consecutive Commonwealth Games without a medal, the last one being won in Melbourne in 2006 (Daily News, 16/4/18).
Particularly disappointing was the performance of the men’s and women’s marathon runners, with only two of them managing to complete the race. Although much attention was given in the global media to the Scottish runner Callum Hawkins who collapsed 2km out from the tape in the men’s race, what may have gone largely unnoticed was that two Tanzanian athletes were also overcome by the hot race conditions; Saidi Juma Makula collapsed a few metres from the finish and Stephano Huche Gwando was placed in a wheelchair after completing the race (BBC Sport website 15/4/18). TA wishes them both a speedy recovery.
At the time of going to press, there was little official comment or postmortem into the underperformance or what lessons can be learned from participation.