ZIMBABWE Olympic Committee chief executive Stephen Mudawarima says there is need to be realistic in terms of expectations, on the team set for the Olympics.
The ZOC had the 12th Tokyo 2020 Team Management meeting on Saturday.
The indaba featured ZOC president Thabani Gonye, Technical and Development Commission chair Rick Fulton, Mudawarima and representatives from the sport codes involved in Olympics qualification, and those that have qualified.
From the latest update the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe have been offered a universality slot by the World Athletics and it has been allocated to Ngoni Makusha.
The closing date for athletics qualification is June 29.
“National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe has since been offered a universality slot by World Athletics.
“This entry of unqualified athletes is subject to the approval of the Technical Delegates based on the technical standards of the athlete and the number of qualified athletes in the respective events.
“The athlete that has been submitted for the slot is Ngoni Makusha. Ngoni is currently in camp in South Africa.
“Chengetayi Mapaya had qualified according to the official ranking but the report from America is that he has picked up a terrible injury requiring 12-14 weeks for rehabilitation.
“This effectively rules him out of Tokyo 2020.
“The 4x100m relay team has one more chance to seek qualification. They have been offered a slot in Nigeria on the 26th-27th of June with full package sponsor from Nigeria Federation,” said the ZOC
Peter Purcell-Gilpin will represent the country in the men’s single scull event in rowing.
Rowing qualified for the Games in 2019.
Golfer Scott Vincent looks set to be part of the team, sitting on number 54 out of the expected 60 golfers, on the Olympic rankings.
The cut-off date is today.
“Golf, as at the latest Golf Olympic Ranking, Scott Vincent is currently at position 54.
“Barring any major injury of performance issues, he stands a very good chance of securing his slot at the Tokyo 2020 games.”
Zimbabwe were also offered two slots in swimming, under the same system, by FINA.
Donata Katai and Peter Wetzlar were selected to take up the slots.
The final confirmation from FINA is expected on July 2.
Although they are still to finalise on the team since they are waiting for the final confirmation on the universality slots, Mudawarima said they have to be realistic, in terms of expectations for the team, since most of the athletes struggled to qualify.
“We haven’t really finalised anything. I think we should be able to do that once we get the confirmation from the respective international federations.
“In terms of the team size, I think we are probably going to be sending one of the smallest teams ever.
“It’s expected, given what has been happening, in the last two years.
“The Games were postponed, it’s been hard for athletes to prepare, to get qualification events, qualification events cancelled, to get athletes to be ready physically and psychologically as well.
“We also have to be realistic, in terms of our expectations, to say if our swimmers haven’t attained the A standard, or the B standard time, then all we are basically looking at is to say, look go out there, get the experience and learn.
“We are getting the whole Olympics hype out of the way so that they can now prepare for the forthcoming events.
“Our athletes, if they are not getting on the podium at the World Championships, if they are not getting on the podium at the Diamond League, at the Africa Championships, it then becomes almost impossible for them to then miraculously win a medal, at the Olympics,” said Mudawarima.