Senior Sports Reporter
IT is every athlete’s dream to compete at the Olympic Games and the pair of Isaac Mpofu and Stephen Cox are counting down to the showcase.
The Games are scheduled for July 26 to August 11 in Paris, France.
Mpofu and Cox are the only two Zimbabwean athletes that have so far qualified for the Games.
Mpofu qualified for the men’s marathon and rower Cox secured his spot in the Men’s Single Scull (M1x).
Addressing the media at a press conference held at the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee headquarters in Harare, both athletes expressed excitement for their qualification.
Cox joined the briefing via zoom as he is currently training in Australia as part of his preparations for the Games.
He said qualifying for the Games came as a relief since it was not his first time to try and qualify for global showpiece.
“So for me it was a big sense of pride, national pride and also a relief because this wasn’t the first time I have tried to qualify.
“And there has been a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice both from my wife and myself to get this thing over the line and make it work.
“So, I was absolutely delighted, there were lots of tears and emotions going around when we finished and got the qualification in the bag,” said Cox.
Cox is training at the Sydney Rowing Club after being offered membership for training with the support of ZOC.
Mpofu said he is happy and grateful for finally earning his place at the Olympics.
He is now in camp in Harare and will be working with coach Benson Chauke until he leaves for the Games.
“It’s all about my mentality. Some believe that I can do it when I go to Kenya because there are best runners there and Ethiopia.
“But for me, if you look at my results they all came whilst I was here in Zimbabwe. So I feel like I can do it whilst I am here in Zimbabwe.”