Tanzania: VP Samia Calls for Promotion of Young Athletes in the Country

VICE PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has called on Tanzania Athletics (AT) to produce competent runners in the likes of Filbert Bayi, who, represented well the country in various major international assignments during their heydays in career.

Speaking in Dodoma recently while gracing NBC Dodoma Marathon, VP said that Tanzania is endowed with talented young runners but she has been wondering as to why they fail when they take part in the international assignments.

Bayi, among others, Suleiman Nyambui and Juma Ikangaa ( who were born in the 1950’s) to mention but a few, put the country’s flag high, winning medals at different international events, before they retired.

Bayi and Nyambui, apart from making good strides in various races including the Commonwealth Games, are the only local athletes to have won medals at Olympic Games.

The duo won silver medals at 1980’s Summer Olympic Games whereby Bayi won in the 3000 m steeplechase as Nyambui, who is coaching in Brunei did it in 5,000m.

Bayi, despite retiring, is still the 1500 m Commonwealth Games record holder.

On the other hand, Ikangaa, who was known as ‘Butterfly’ for his running prowess, has untold success, among others, winning the 1989 New York City Marathon in a course-record time of 2:08:01 and was also a sentimental favorite in Boston Marathon after finishing second for two years in a row from 1988-1990.

VP Samia said that Tanzania stands chances of doing better should the talented players be exposed and developed.

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