Zimbabwe’s athletes have said exclusion of the country’s sportsmen and women from the just ended Commonwealth Games and other future competitions is a serious setback to the development of local talent. (Pictured: Athletes at the just ended Commonwealth Games)
Zimbabwe does not participate in Commonwealth competitions after President Robert Mugabe in 2003 withdrew the country from the club of mainly former British colonies angry over a decision to extend suspension of Harare from the group over human rights abuses.
But athlete said they have become collateral victims of the political squabble saying they would have benefitted from exposure to top competition at the Commonwealth Games that ended in Delhi, India.
Brian Dzingai _ Zimbabwe’s national 200m record holder – lamented the exclusion of local athletes, pointing out, for example, that he was it was the 2002 Commonwealth Games that helped propelled his career to greater heights.
From the 2002 games Dzingai went to clinch fourth place in the Bejing’s Olympics in the 200m race that was won by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.
Speaking in Harare during a short visit Dzingai said Zimbabwe’s non_participation in the commonwealth games was blow to the development of especially young and upcoming talent.