Ellina Mhlanga 

Senior Sports Reporter

ATHLETICS coach Benson Chauke says they are in high spirits as they continue with their build-up for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with Isaac Mpofu.

This comes after Mpofu won a bronze medal in the men’s half marathon at the African Games in Accra, Ghana.

The event was part of his preparations for the Olympic Games set to run from July 26 to August 11. 

He is now focusing on his participation at the Boston Marathon on April 15. 

Chauke said the outcome from the African Games shows they are on track in their preparations.  

“I am very happy for him, very happy for the system, very happy for the plan, that everything is pointing in one direction and I am seeing positive results.

“What we are preparing as a team is a podium attempt. So getting a podium attempt against the East Africans like we did in Ghana is something out of this world. 

“I am happy for Isaac. I am happy for all the people that have been supporting him on social media, his family and the sponsors.

“I am just happy for him, that this is doable with support, with people standing with you, the sky is the limit,” said Chauke.

He added:

“Our targets were not time specific. They were competitive, to say if you were going to go to a big race, a full field of East Africans, Ethiopians, Kenyans, Eritreans, Ugandans, these people that have broken records, how do you fare against them?

“So Isaac stood and raised the Zimbabwean flag high amongst this full field of Kenyans, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Ugandans to come up with a medal, that is what we were aiming for.

“It’s the same people that he is likely going to be running against at the Olympics. It’s usually the Kenyans winning it or the Ethiopians. 

“So if you are there amongst them, given his PB time of 2:06, it can be anybody’s race.

“So we are happy that he was there on the podium to begin with, which means competitiveness we are good.”

Mpofu, who is camping in Harare, is stepping up his training programme with his next assignment being the Boston Marathon.

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