Arundel Student and track captain, Rutendo Chimbaru ran a qualifying time at the NASH National Championships at Hillcrest College in Mutare on Thursday 18 March for the IAAF World U20 Championships scheduled to take place in Bydgoszcz, Poland in July.
The qualifying time for IAAF event in Bydgoszcz in the 400m Girls race is set at 55.25 seconds by the track and field governing body which also requires the time to be electronic and Fully Automated. School Sports Network was on site in Mutare at Hillcrest to electronically time the event. Chimbaru stopped the clock at 55.06 seconds making history in the process as the first Zimbabwean to hit a qualifying mark for this year’s IAAF U20 Championships.
Over the years the Arundel student has focused more on the short sprints, 100m and 200m, but added the 400m to her events this year and has made great strides since the beginning of the athletics season. Chimbaru clocked 56.91 seconds at the Prince Edward Sprints in February and bettered that to 55.84 at Lomagundi College in Chinhoyi last weekend.
SSN caught up with Silas Muringani, the Junior Development Director for the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe(NAAZ) at Hillcrest and he couldn’t hide his joy. “I’m elated by the performances of our athletes, Alfred Chawonza, Leon Tafireyi and Rutendo Chimbaru have been the most impressive so far. This competition (NASH National Championships) offers us a platform to select athletes for the various events on the international IAAF Calendar.” Muringani went on to explain that most of the athletes that are doing well are training all-year round to better their times and distances.
SSN’s electronic timing equipment, manufactured by Finish Lynx System Developers in the USA is approved by the IAAF for use in competitions conducted under IAAF rules and regulations.