Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) has defended its decision to send an 18-member delegation to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan from July 23 to August 8.
Zimbabwe will be sending five athletes in swimming, athletics, rowing and golf together with their respective coaches.
Following release of the travelling party on Wednesday, there was an outcry from critics, blasting ZOC for including more officials than athletes.
In a statement on Thursday, ZOC said some members of the delegation are under the
national Olympic committee transferable guests’ accreditation, while National Olympic Committee (NOC) presidents and secretary-generals are under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and attend the Olympic Games as the NOC delegation notwithstanding athlete participation at the games and are thus not included in the overall team computations.
“Team Zimbabwe is made up of five athletes and eight athlete support personnel and the Government delegation is travelling under the National Olympic Committee transferable guests’ accreditation. The International Olympic Committee approved accreditation guidelines allow NOCs to invite key stakeholders to the Games. Transferable means they will all not be there at the same time, but one after the other. The invited guests are the chairman of the SRC and chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. These are key positions which have a serious bearing on the trajectory of our sport. The Olympic Games provide the biggest opportunity and exposure to observe best practice and world class standards.
“Team Zimbabwe, in its travelling entourage to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, has included in its delegation the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Committee. The inclusion of the Portfolio Committee chairperson stemmed from the realisation of the need to expose our legislative support systems to high performance sport and its standard requirements which have been perennially underestimated in terms of budgetary support. It also emanates from the need for experiential learning by way of participation for informed guidance and legislative support of sport development and promotion,” reads the ZOC statement.
Aquatics – Swimming
Donata Katai, Peter Wetzlar
Coach: Lindsy Tudor-Cole
Coach: Lisimati Phakamile
Coach: James Alexander Stephenson
Anne Kesley Vincent
Coach/ Team Leader: Mufaro Chivonivoni
Chef de Mission: Fredreck Ndlovu
Team admin: Memory Pakati
Physiotherapist and Covid-19 liaison officer: Abigail Mnikwa
ZOC president: Thabani Gonye
ZOC chief executive: Stephen Mudawarima
Government delegation: SRC chairman Gerald Mlotshwa, PA to the
Minister of Sport Tariro Kadzirange, chairman Parliamentary Portfolio Committee
on Youth, Arts, Sport and Recreation Mathias Tongofa