CAMPAIGN to excel and win medals in Tokyo, the venue of Olympic Games in 2020, has continued to sweep across the country.
The campaign was an immediate reaction inspired by the country’s marathoner, Alphonce Simbu’s good finish in Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.
Football and athletics opened the way to publicly announce their intentions to excel in the 2020’s Tokyo Games.
The government also publicly jumped into the bandwagon soon after the Olympic team’s return from Brazil.
Last week, the government through its Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Nape Nnauye, formed a committee to fast-track the campaign, insisting the chances of Tanzania to perform well in the 2020 games are greater than expected.
The minister made the statement during a meeting with different sports stakeholders at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. The minister told the stakeholders that the only way to increase the chances of winning medals is by sending a big number of athletes who will compete in various fields.
He said that after finding that having inferior number of athletes diminishes the country’s chances of winning medals, he suggested other sports must be included too. Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) aims to upgrade the U-17 team (Serengeti Boys) into a squad that will play in Tokyo 2020.
Now at the national level, the medal haul campaign has gone some distance ahead, and already almost every Tanzanian is well aware of it. But, there are several things to consider when implementing the Tokyo 2020 campaign, but the most important is to broaden it or give it a broad spectrum.
In athletics, there are several ignored disciplines such as field events, which previously brought us medals. Javelin is one of them.
Zakayo Marekwa and Matilda Kisava earned Tanzania five All African Games and Commonwealth medals in the 1970s and 80s. Others like high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put, hammer throw, archery or weightlifting can also bring us medals if we start preparing the athletes now.
To achieve all these, the government should involve private and government institutions in scouting for talented athletes and groom them to the desired standard. Medal haul in Tokyo 2020 is very possible, let us all play our parts.