Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Membe

Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Membe

The offer comes after China trained a number of athletes who competed at last year?s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland but failed to win any medal, as time for preparation was short.

The shortfall, according to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Bernard Membe, opens more room for further training for a longer period this year.

Membe told the ?Daily News? when celebrating China?s New Year at Mnazi Mmoja Grounds that since the next big competitions are scheduled for one to three years, it was a better time to start training now to make Tanzania more competitive. ?We want to turn the tables and start celebrating our own winning not others as we have done for many years now,? he said.

Last year 26 athletes participated in the Glasgow Commonwealth Game but none brought back a medal or reached an advanced stage.

The country was represented by athletics, boxing, judo, table tennis, weightlifting, cycling and swimming teams which pitched camps in China, New Zealand, Ethiopia and Turkey to prepare for the Games.

Sports pundits have it that a foreign camp for two months is not adequate for serious training. The minister said foreign affairs and sport ministries would work together to sort out the type of sports and a number of athletes for the training.

?The idea is to start training earlier so as to prepare athletes for a long period to become more competitive at major competitions,? he said.Tanzania is among countries that will take part in the 11th All-Africa Games to be held in Brazzaville, Congo from September 4-19, this year.

This edition marks the 50th anniversary of the Games, as well as their return to Brazzaville, which hosted the first edition in 1965. The 2016 summer Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5-21.

The Olympic Torch Relay started last month and will travel across 26 states and through 250 cities and towns on a 20,000km journey around Brazil.

The culmination of the journey will come on August 5 at the Maracan? Stadium in Rio when the flame will light the Olympic cauldron at the 2016 Rio Opening Ceremony. The next Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast, Queensland in Australia from April 4-15 in 2018.

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