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Issue No. 0824:
August 16 - 22, 2014


Arusha sports experts blast AT over poor show in Glasgow

By Arusha Times Correspondent

Former athletes and sports administrators in Arusha have blasted Athletics Tanzania (AT) for the country's poor show at the recently-ended Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. "The team that was sent to represent us did not comprise the best
performers of our time", lamented Wilhelm Gidabuday,a former national athlete who ruled the marathon race in the 1990s while in the US. He told Arusha Times from Dar es Salaam that he was surprised by the way the athletes who eventually represented the country were picked for training because he knew they were not the best "and hardly met the qualification standards".

"The selection was only made on the table and not in the field. I have every reason to believe that the selection was based on friendship and relations and not on field performance", he said. He added that it was absurd that Tanzania could not win even a single medal at the Games for which it had a good record in the past during which the country grabbed several gold medals.

Andrew Muneja
Wilhelm Gidabuday

"The situation became worse because we had minister (Bernard) Membe who mobilized resources to ensure our team gets proper training", noting that AT should be blamed for the debacle.

Gidabuday, a 42 year old retired runner from Hanang in Manyara region, said some of the athletes who represented the country in Glasgow failed to perform and were well beaten during a local competition organized early last month in Dar es Salaam.
Incidentally, according to him, they were picked to compete in Glasgow while those who won the local race were left out.

He suggested that AT should be overhauled because the current officials were not elected as per the National Sports Council (NSC) Act of 1967. "They are in office by default", he explained.

A sports consultant and administrator based in Arusha Andrew Muneja attributed the poor performance of Tanzania in the recent Commonwealth Games to poor preparation of the team.

"My aim is not to seek evaluation of every training programme but we can doubt about the period of training towards competition time", he said. Muneja, who served as the director of Sports in the ministry of Information, Culture and Sports between 2008-2011, said before major international competitions, athletes and other sports men and women should
be availed adequate training facilities.

His remarks were echoed by three track and field coaches based in Arusha, John Bayo, Anthony Mwingereza and Samwel Tupa who argued that the performance of every individual should have been assessed by technical experts.

"It is the long term preparation which would assure us of medals. Unfortunately in Tanzania, we lack this periodical training system in sports", they said.

AT chairman in Arusha Jackson Jorwa said only one athlete who represented the country performed "fairly well" and that was Fabian Joseph Naasi who clocked 2:15 in marathon against 2:11:15 by the eventual winner.

"Yet Fabian was not among the Glasgow possibles selected by the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC). He requested accreditation from the TOC Authority to join the team at the last moment", he pointed out.



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