EDITORIAL: Confusion over Simbu needs to be addressed

Saturday December 30 2017


Some athletics stakeholders are currently engaged in delicate talks about the fate of prominent runner Alphonce Felix, whose participation in next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia is, at the moment, anything but guaranteed. There are disturbing reports that the Tanzanian bronze medalist may not be part of the team to carry the national flag to the Australian event. Instead, he is reportedly preparing for the payable London Marathon, which is scheduled to take place one week after the Commonwealth Games. Various media reports have also quoted Athletics Tanzania (AT) secretary general Wilhelm Gidabuday as confirming the rumours surrounding the participation of the National Service employee. However, the government is said to have intervened, and ordered that Simbu be included on the list. Still, the AT has said Simbu’s fate will be determined by its technical committee after the assessment of the other runners’ performance. Seemingly, the twin retrogressive factors of confusion and controversy are rearing their ugly heads in our preparations, all hell-bent on sowing the seed of discord ahead of the global event. It will come as a no-surprise at all that those behind the confusion are rogue elements hoping to cash in on the Simbu’s participation at the London event, but at the expense of national duty and national pride. This cannot be allowed. The marathoner has done this nation proud at the various international events he featured -- from Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai to the IAAF’s World Athletics Championships in London in August this year. Let his matter be settled onec and for all. He doesn’t deserve this back-and-forth.