THE final qualifiers for the forthcoming Coca-Cola Four-Minute Mile Challenge whose finals are set to be held at the ZITF Main Arena on 28 April will be held on Saturday at Gwandaa��s Pelandaba Stadium.
Mid last month we reported that the first and second qualifiers of the meet were held at Bulawayoa��s White City Stadium where Dumo Mkhwananzi of Sparrows, City Meatsa�� Xolani Nkiwane and Denford Mlilo of Sparrows booked their final berths.
Mkhwananzi qualified in a time of four minutes, 28,00 seconds while the duo of Nkiwane and Mlilo crossed the finishing line in four minutes, 31,00 seconds. On 10 March the qualifiers were held at Hararea��s Morris Depot and no-one qualified.
On Independence Day Bulawayo Athletics Board (Bab) was set to hold the other qualifier at White City Stadium.
a�?We are looking forward to fielding 30 to 40 athletes and before the final day we are going to have semi-finals of the event at White City Stadium where we are going pick the top 20 based on time. On Saturday, we are going to take the Four-Minute Mile Challenge qualifiers to Gwanda because we want more athletes from different parts of the country to take part in this prestigious annual event,a�? said Bab chairman Emmanuel Mpofu.
In last yeara��s final event, Zimbabwe Republic Police Fairbridge athlete, Trust Chidomaya took the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Coca-Cola Four-Minute Mile Challenge.
Willard Mutasa of Bulawayo Jumbos had led for the better part of the race but the 41-year-old Chidomaya overtook him on the last bend to cross the finish line in four minutes, 17,52 seconds.
Mutasa took second spot in four minutes 18,56 seconds while Blessing Chidziva of ZRP finished third in four minutes, 19,38 seconds.
Chidomaya, winner of the same race in 2015 walked away with $800, a medal, a miniature trophy and a shield. Mutasa pocketed $400 accompanied by a miniature trophy as well as a medal with $350 heading Chidzivaa��s way which also went with a small trophy and medal.
Ngonidzashe Ncube took fourth place which carried a cash prize of $300, Nomore Wiriki ended fifth to take home $250. In sixth position was Levison Mapfuwa who got $200, $125 went to Isaac Mpofu for his seventh place finish. Trust Hove settled for number eight to get $100, Boniface Jeki was ninth to get a reward of $75 while $50 went to Tapiwa Chineka for his 10th place finish.
Berbaton Mhlanga of ZRP Fairbridge failed to finish the race, something he attributed to running with bare feet.
Coca-Cola activation manager Vee Chibanda said they were obligated to back a healthy way of life as a way of making sure that those who consume their products lead healthy lifestyles.
a�?As Coca-Cola we are committed to supporting community healthy living lifestyles to ensure our consumers realise their dreams. An important race principle to note is that there is room at the finish line for all of us. It isna��t all about winning or losing, ita��s about the experience and being in it together,a��a�� she said.