Mpofu speaks on Durban marathon disqualification

By Lawrence Trusida

LONG distance runner Isaac Mpofu’s management has broken the silence after the Zimbabwean athlete was disqualified from the Durban Marathon.

The long distance runner romped to victory in a personal best time at the Durban International Marathon but was later stripped of the title for violating completion rules after competing without a licence number on his back.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) stipulates that all athletes should have two licence numbers one at the front and another on the back

However, Benson Chauke, who was Zimbabwe’s Team Manager at the event, has his own explanation.

“We were given our race packs by the organisers and they were sealed and we were told that everything was in there and in the morning we discovered that there was only one licence number and we informed the officials and they informed the race judge who said we can compete like that and we were surprised to be stripped off the title because we had confirmed prior to the race and it was not our fault,” he explained.

The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) has since lodged an appeal against the decision to strip Mpofu off his title and they are still waiting for a response from ASA.

Meanwhile, teenage swimming sensation Donata Katai headlines a four-member Zimbabwe team, which has been selected to represent the country at the 19th FINA World Championships scheduled for next month in Hungary.

Katai made history last year after she became the first black swimmer to represent Zimbabwe at the Olympic Games in Tokyo although she failed to reach the semi-finals of the 100 metre backstroke despite recording a personal best and coming first in her heat.

Other swimmers in the team include Denilson Cyprianos and Nomvula Mjimba, who are based in the US as well as England based Liam Davis.

The FINA World Championships will be held from the 18th to the 25th of June.