MANYARA STARS

The Tanzanian under-23 team in action against Cameroon - Issah Michuzi

The Tanzanian Under-23 football team surprised many when they beat Cameroon on penalties after a thrilling return leg match of the 2012 Olympic Games qualifiers. The “Manyara Stars” now face another difficult task having been drawn against the powerful Nigerian team in the next round.

In the domestic league, Young Africans (Yanga) won the league title by the closest of margins. Yanga and arch rivals Simba started the final day with the same number of points, and both managed to win their final games (against Mwanza and Majimaji), but Yanga emerged victorious due to their overall goal difference of 25 compared to Simba’s 24. Yanga were awarded US$25,000 for winning the title and will represent Tanzania in next year’s Champions League.

KILIMANJARO MARATHON

The start of the Kili fun-run - photo Issah Michuzi

The 9th Kilimanjaro Marathon was held in Moshi on 27th February and included a marathon (with over 300 entrants), a half marathon and a 5km fun-run (with over 2,000 entrants). Kenyan runners dominated the top spots, with Kipkemboi Kipsand and Anna Kamau winning the mens and womens marathon respectively, though Tanzanians Julius Kilimo and Banuelia Brighton came in second place. The medals were presented by Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Minister Emmanuel Nchimbi, who advised Tanzanian runners to use next year’s Kili Marathon as preparation for the London Marathon and Olympics, saying “We want medals from the London Marathon next so please prepare yourself well and don’t let us down.” The minister also noted that he was aware of complaints from sports fans that football was being given top priority, but insisted that was not the case and that the government appreciated all disciplines.

Crowds were entertained by the African Stars band ‘Twanga Pepeta’ and Bongo Flava artists ‘TMK Wanaume Family’ together with Joseph Payne known as ‘Mzungu wa BSS’ after having finished in 2nd place in the TV programme “Bongo Star Search 2010”.

Tanzania was not represented at April’s London Marathon, but Kenyans again dominated with a 1,2,3 in the men’s race and winning first and third places in the women’s race.