HE promised Tanzanians prior to his departure to London, the venue of this year’s World Athletics Championships, that this time he will bring them a medal. Alphonce Simbu has done it.
Since finishing fifth in the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Simbu set a trailblazer of hope for Tanzania to regain its past excellence in athletics, since, as from there he went on to win his first gold medal in Mumbai Marathon a few months after the end of Brazilian Games.
Now Simbu has become the country’s lone jewel and winning bronze in London and has further pushed zeal for more medals in the coming events, including the country’s main focus; Tokyo Olympic Games of 2020.
Athletics has seen a new dawn in Tanzania ever since its marathoner, Alphonce Simbu, beat the world’s renowned megastars to finish at the top five in the just ended Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The medal he has won ends a 12- year medal drought, making him a unifying symbol in nationwide campaign to revive athletics. He seems to fight hard to revive the Olympic spirit as the victory inspires more disciplines and supporters of the revival campaign.
As evidenced through responses from Tanzanians, his success in London is almost a throwback to the situation in 1973 when the success of Filbert Bayi and Habib Kinyogoli who won gold and silvers in All African Games delighted the founding father of nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who reacted by making athletics a national sport.
While we congratulate Simbu for bringing back the lost honour, we would like also to tell the majority youth that Simbu should not be left alone in the fight for the country pride.
They should know that if Simbu pocketed 45m/- for winning bronze, then athletics can very good be a source of income. They can too join and win what Simbu won. There is enough time to do it as there are two years of preparation before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics take off.