With less than six months before the 2024 Paris Olympics kicks off in France, the Zimbabwe Olympics Committee (Zimbabwe Olympics Committee) is still hopeful that more athletes can qualify to add to the obtaining numbers.
At the present moment, only two athletes have qualified for Paris 2024, long-distance runner Issac Mpofu and rower Stephen Cox.
Zimbabwe had five athletes during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the lowest ever representatives as compared to all the previous editions.
Initially, ZOC had set a target of sending ten individual athletes and one team sport but the dream seems to be in vain as all team sports have failed and hope is now on a few individual athletes in swimming and athletics.
“We are still hoping for eight or more athletes to qualify, our target was ten and we remain optimistic that we will have more athletes qualifying.
“There is still enough qualifying time in other sporting disciplines like athletics and swimming which will end in June.
“So we are giving them enough support we can, through the solidarity funding but still it’s not enough.
“We are doing our best to work with different national sports federations and help each where there is a chance for their athletes to qualify and see how best we can chip in,” said Rick Fulton who is the chairman for technical and development at the ZOC on Monday during a press conference held in Harare.
Already Stephen Cox and Issac Mpofu have started their intense preparation for the global event.
Cox is currently in Australia where he is going through his training while Mpofu is camping in Harare.
Although there is a lot of criticism on why Mpofu is conducting his training camp in Harare instead of going to foreign countries that have similar weather conditions to host nation France, the long-distance runner told the media on Monday that he is ok with training in Harare.
He said, “I think the environment doesn’t contribute much, it’s all about your mindset as an individual because, at the end of the day, all I need to do is believe in myself and work hard.
“People are always asking why I am not going to do my training camp in countries like Kenya but honestly I am ok here in Zimbabwe.”