Zanzibar Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd, decorates the 1,500 metres winner Gabriel Gerald of Arusha with a gold medal at the 54th National Athletics Championship at the Filbert Bayi Secondary School at Mkuza, Kibaha in Coast Region yesterday. (Photo by Cosmas Mlekani)

Zanzibar Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd, decorates the 1,500 metres winner Gabriel Gerald of Arusha with a gold medal at the 54th National Athletics Championship at the Filbert Bayi Secondary School at Mkuza, Kibaha in Coast Region yesterday. (Photo by Cosmas Mlekani)

The championship was closed by the Zanzibar Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd, who awarded the 1,500 metres and the relays winners. West Urban won both men and women?s categories to beat the other 20 regions that took part in the championship.

Other regions that competed in the championship were Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Geita, Kagera, Pemba North, Unguja North , Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Mara, Mbeya, Morogoro, Mwanza, Njombe, Coast, Ruvuma, Shinyanga na Singida.

Coast finished second, followed by Arusha while Dar es Salaam was placed fourth. Emmanuel Ganiki of Manyara was the hero in the men?s 5,000 metres in 14:14:34.

He had earlier won the 10,000 metres. Runner-up in the highly contested 10,000 metres was Gabriel Gerard of Arusha who clocked 14:1:63, while Kilimanjaro?s Josephat Joshua was third in 14:33:53.

Dadelina Trazia of Dar es Salaam won the 400 metres hurdles in 70.10 seconds, followed by Rose Seif of Coast in 73.91 seconds and Nasma Amour of Zanzibar Urban in 78.59 seconds.

Haghynes Bampenja of Dar es Salaam triumphed in the men?s 200 meters after clocking 27.73 seconds while Shuwena Ally of Zanzibar Urban West was second in 27.74 seconds and team mate Himidia Omary was third in 27.75 seconds.

Kassim Hussein of Zanzibar Urban won the men?s 400 metres hurdles in 59.89 seconds while brahim Simai of Pemba North was third in 64.00 seconds. The championship was marred with controversies following reports that non-citizens sneaked in to compete.

Results mix up during the first and second day also affected the event, which is important in the Athletics Tanzania (AT) calendar.

The incidents have ruined the image of the championship and some quarters complained that it was the consequences of poor management and preparations on the part of the AT.

It was claimed that some runners from Kagera region have forged their identities and illegally competed in the championships.

One of the disgraceful incidents saw Kagera region team being denied their victory in women?s 5000 and 800 metres races respectively as well as 10,000 meters men?s category, after event supervisors detected that the winners have forged their identities and they are believe to be non-citizen.

The accused athletes are Furaha Sabaya, Josephine Masau, who won 5,000 and 800 meters races and Panvel Mkungo, who grabbed the second position in the 10,000 meters race.

When they were questioned about their real identities they failed to give clear clarifications but said they run for Holili Club in Kilimanjaro region.

Giving explanations over the saga, AT Secretary General, Suleiman Nyambui said the matter has been reported to the Police and Immigration for further investigations so as to clear the air on the runners? citizenship.

The first day of the event on Friday, witnessed 100 metres runners in women category battling for medals but the category was affected by results? mix up between the first and second winners.

Time-keepers failed to give the actual winner of the race as a result showed Shuwena Ally from Zanzibar Urban West has won the race followed by Highness Bampenja from Dar es Salaam.

However, the Dar es Salaam Amateur Athletics Association (DAAA) officials protested against the results and lodged an appeal. Supervisors had to re-check the result and found Highness was the actual winner of the race by clocking 12.82 seconds and Shuwena came second by clocking 12.99 seconds.

Rehema John from Coast Region came third after clocking 13.05 seconds. The issue was solved after the supervisors detected that one of the time keepers from Urban West wanted to favour his runner.

But the incident did not end just like that as in prize presentations, Shuwena refused to receive her prize, which included a medal as she did not approve the final results. Commenting of the incident, Nyambui said the act was against sportsmanship and described it as indiscipline.

By COSMAS MLEKANI, Tanzania Daily News

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