Zimbabwean sprinter, Ngoni Makusha, Saturday bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics after finishing seventh in the heat phase, which decided who qualified for the semi-finals.
Makusha clocked a time of 10:43 seconds to bow out of the competition and the Olympic Games, but he will have reason to hold his head high.
There were hopes that Makusha would proceed to the next round after coming first with 10:32 seconds in his debut race at the global sporting showcase earlier in the day.
Makusha and golfer Scott Vincent were the only Zimbabweans left standing following the eliminations of rower Peter Purcell-Gilpin and swimmers Donata Katai and Peter Wetzlar.
Makusha’s coach, David Tinago, refused to see his athlete’s first appearance at the Games as a failure but “rather a learning experience”. He said:
It was really a good race, and he did well.
It’s such an experience that he made it this far and will take this as a learning experience.
Hopefully, he will be back again in the next Olympics and will fare better.
We learnt a lot from this experience as I managed to attend the training sessions of some of the biggest runners (both male and female) in the world.
He said he learnt the importance of sports science and a handful of tricks which he intends to share with others and use to better prepare Makusha for future events and the next Olympics.
Age could, however, work against the 27-year-old given the tough competition which characterises the sprint events especially at the Olympics where the search for the next Usain Bolt is still very much on.
With Makusha out, the onus is now on golfer Vincent who finished 5 under-par and joint 17th on the leader board yesterday.
The United States-based golfer will have to play the game of his life if he is to catch up with the leading pack and come close to a podium finish today.