Innocent Kurira

UNITED States-based sprinter Tapiwa Makarawu will be in action tomorrow in the 200m heats at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The global showpiece is running until Sunday.

Zimbabwe are fielding four athletes, who include Makarawu and three marathon runners – Isaac Mpofu, Ngonidzashe Ncube and Fortunate Chidzivo.

Chidzivo will be in action on Saturday in the women’s marathon.

Ncube and Mpofu will then wrap-up Zimbabwe’s participation with the men’s marathon on Sunday.

The trio of Chidzivo, Mpofu and Ncube have been to the global meet before.

Makarawu ran a time of 20.10 seconds to qualify for the World Championships.

The time is not only his personal best but also a national record.

The qualifying time was 20.16 seconds.

The championship record for the event is 19.19 seconds for men, set by Usain Bolt in 2009.

National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) director of coaching and development Lisimati Phakamile is confident Makarawu will progress to the semi-finals of the event.

“We have settled well. Presently, I am with Makarawu in Budapest. The rest of the team arrives on Thursday.

“I have been with the sprinter for the past four days and have been going for sessions at the main arena. Other than the heat, l think we are settling well and preparing very well for the competition.

“It’s his first time competing at this competition but his confidence levels and mentality he is showing in preparation for his event is quite impressive.

“We have been working to align our schedule with the competition times and all has been well. I have been impressed with his performances at training. His mental strength is impressive.

“We are hoping for the best. We are hoping he pushes to his level best. We hope he makes it to the next round,” said Phakamile.

Makarawu is a former National Sports Academy athlete and former Bindura University of Science star who carved his name into the history books by setting a new indoor national record in the 200m event in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Running for New Mexico Junior College in the 2023 All-College Indoor Track competition, Makarawu posted an impressive 20.47s winning bronze in the competition.

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