Pamela Shumba gets Zim’s Paralympics Games campaign underway
Zimbabwe get their Paralympic Games campaign underway this afternoon when T12 athlete Pamela Shumba competes in the 100m at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.
Shumba will compete with three other athletes from China, Ukraine and Paraguay. T12 is for runners with visual impairment.
Their vision is constricted to a radius of less than five degrees and/or the ability to recognise a moving object at a distance of one metre.
“I hope to do my best,” said Shumba yesterday. Her personal best in the 100m is 15.88 seconds.
Her opponents, Mellisa Tilner of Paraguay has a personal best of 16.33 seconds, while China’s Yanfen Liang’s personal best is 12.33 seconds and race favourite Oksana Boturchuk of Ukraine has run 11.96 seconds.
Zimbabwe took two athletes to the Paralympics Games, Shumba and Vimbai Zvinowanda, a T47 athlete, who will compete in the 200m race on Saturday.
The T47 category is for athletes with movement affected at a low to moderate degree in one arm or the absence of limbs.
Zvinowanda said they have been hard in training since touching down in Tokyo.
“We are hard in training preparing for our races, God will do the rest,” said Zvinowanda.
“I hope we will make it as we all know that if a child goes to school, every parent wants him or her to pass because they worked very hard to pay fees. It’s the same as me, l train very hard and hope to get good results,” said Zvinowanda.
Zimbabwean athletes have won a total of two gold, nine silver and six bronze medals since they started participating in the Paralympics in 1980.
Zimbabwe athletes’ most successful year in the Paralympics was in 1980 when they won eight silver and four bronze medals.
The country’s first gold medal was won by Elliot Mujaji in 2000, in the 100m dash T46 category.
Mujaji again won the second Paralympic gold medal in the same event in 2004.
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