Running in a strong field, Zimbabwean runner Enlitha Ncube ran her best so far this year in the Women’s 3000m race on Day Four in Nanjing, China at the Youth Olympic Games.
Ncube, who also took part at the IAAF World Junior Champs last month in Eugene, Oregon had a great start dashing to the front of the pack. She stayed with the leading pack, but fell back midway during the race. Ncube, who has been recently training in Gweru, seemed to be in much better form than she was during the World Junior Champs, clocking a season best time of 9:44.24. However, she was fell ten seconds behind Eritrea’s Simret Weldeghabr who placed 10. Of the 20 athletes in the field, the first 10 move on to the A final. Having finished in 11th place, Ncube will be the favourite to win the B final.
Also on the track for Team Zimbabwe, Titus Nyathi registered a personal best time of 8:39.67, but missed the qualification mark in a very fast Men’s 3000m race that featured current World Junior Champion for 3000m and 5000m, Kejelcha Atomsa. The first eight move on to the A final, while Nyathi, who finished in 12th place will compete in the B final. Ethiopia’s Atomsa really stretched the field; as a result, 12 of the 16 athletes registered personal best times during the first event on the track for men at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
These results from Day Four imply that Zimbabwe’s chance to win medals in track events are now very slim as only one athlete – Mary Joy Mudyiravanji – is left to run her 1500m qualification heat on Day Five of the second summer Youth Olympic Games.