Sprinter Matiyenga struggles at World Athletics Championships

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Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWEAN Sprinter Tinotenda Matiyenga endured a rude awakening on his debut at the ongoing World Athletics Champions after failing to make it past the heats of the men’s 200m race in Oregon, USA.

The 23 year-old Matiyenga crossed the finish line after 20.72 seconds in the third of the scheduled seven heats in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The heat was won by Erriyon Khighton from the United States of America with a time of 20.01 seconds while Luxolo Adams from South Africa finished second in 20.10 seconds.

Netheneel Mitchell-Blake from Great Britain finished third in 20.11 seconds to claim the remaining slot to the semifinals.

Matiyenga, who recently completed his tertiary education at Texas Christian University (TCU), qualified for the competition by virtue of his world ranking.

US-based triple jumper Chengetayi Mapaya is now Zimbabwe’s remaining medal hope at the World Athletics Championships and will compete in the preliminary rounds of the competition in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Mapaya will be banking on his experience from the previous edition as he was part of the team that represented the country in 2019 while he is also fresh from a very successful season on the US collegiate circuit.

The other Zimbabwean representative at the games is Isaac Mpofu, who came 10th in the men’s marathon  in a time of 2 hours 7 minutes 57 seconds.

Mpofu’s time meant he broke the previous national record of 2 hours 9 minutes 52 seconds, set by Cuthbert Nyasango in 2014.