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Isaac Mpofu shatters eight-year record

by Staff reporter
19 Jul 2022 at 06:10hrs | Views
LONG distance runner Isaac Mpofu put up a good performance at the World Athletics Championships in the United States of America to finish in the top 10 of the men's marathon and in the process shatter Zimbabwe's eight-year record.

Mpofu, who just two months ago had his dream of competing at the global premier athletics event in Eugene Oregon almost deferred due to a technical blip at a qualification event in South Africa, came 10th in a time of 2 hours 7 minutes 57 seconds to beat the previous national record that stood at 2 hours 9 minutes 52 seconds, set by Cuthbert Nyasango in 2014.

Sunday's run by Mpofu was an improved performance compared to his qualifying time of 2 hours 10 minutes 24 seconds at the Durban International Marathon in South Africa in May, where he was disqualified for failing to wear a second bib at the back displaying a second licence number.

Ethiopia's Tamirat Tola came first in Oregon in 2 hours 5 minutes 36 seconds to claim gold.

He was followed by his teammate Mosinet Geremew with a time of 2 hours 6 minutes 45 seconds.

On third place was Bashir Abdi of Belgium in 2 hours 6 minutes 49 seconds.

Cameron Levins of Canada followed on fourth position in 2 hours 7 minutes 10 seconds and on fifth place was Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor with a time of 2 hours 7 minutes 15 seconds.

Ethiopia's Seifu Tura and Gabriel Gerald Geay of Tanzania were sixth and seventh in 2 hours 7 minutes 18 seconds and 2 hours 7 minutes 32 seconds, respectively.

Daniel Do Nascimento from Brazil settled for position 8 in a time of 2 hours 7 minutes 36 seconds and on position nine was Shumi Dechasa from Bahrain in 2 hours 7 minutes 53 seconds.

Phakamile Lisimati, the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) director for coaching, talent identification and development was charmed by Mpofu's performance.

Lisimati Phakamile

"Congratulations Isaac Mpofu on the new Zimbabwe Marathon Record.

You showed great character and dedication. Your performance was amazing.

"Special thanks to the ground team coach Benson Chauke and the boys, Naaz and Zoc (Zimbabwe Olympic Committee)," Lisimati said.

Chauke, the head of national event coaches for middle and long-distance runners, who worked with Mpofu in preparation for the World Championships, told our Harare Bureau that the athlete's performance shows that Zimbabwe can achieve desired results with adequate support.

"We are ecstatic, more than happy, that's what we wanted as Zimbabwe, to improve our time so that it is competitive with the world out there, the Kenyans, Tanzanians and Ugandans.

Just being among the top and with our flag flying high.

"Personally, I am happy for Isaac. Durban would have brought grief but they say joy comes in the morning and this is our morning and we are happy.

We are getting there.

With more support, with more incentives, I think Zimbabwe can go far," said Chauke.

The seasoned coach also saluted everyone that supported Mpofu's journey.

By finishing in the top 10, Mpofu joins Nyasango and Tendai Chimusasa who also made it to the top at the Olympics.

Nyasango finished seventh at the London 2012 Olympics and Chimusasa was placed ninth at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Source - The Chronicle
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