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ZOC names head of 2020 Olympics team

Raymond Jaravaza 

WITH just over 500 days to go before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) has announced Thabani Gonye as the Chef de Mission at the elite international sporting event.

A Chef de Mission is the person in charge of a national team(s) at an international sports event.

Gonye is one of ZOC’s vice presidents.

“ZOC is pleased to announce the appointment of former athlete and experienced administrator Thabani Gonye as Chef de Mission (CdM) to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Having successfully undergone an interview process, his nomination was presented to and approved by the ZOC Board. The CdM’s main role will be to effectively manage the Zimbabwe Olympic Team before, during and after the Games,” said ZOC in a statement.

His appointment comes as local national sports associations are intensifying their plans following the commencement of the qualification phase of the Tokyo Olympic Games which runs from January 2019 and June 2020.

The final team that will represent the country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be confirmed no later than 30 June 2020.

“ZOC will focus and intensify support for athletes with proven and credible potential who, based on the sport specific Qualification Systems in place, will be targeting specific events in which to compete and try to earn the limited slots,” read the statement.

Zimbabwe has won eight medals since attaining independence in 1980.

Swimmer Kirsty Coventry, now a Cabinet Minister, won seven medals in 2004 and 2008.

The other medal was won by the women’s national field hockey team at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.