Mpofu Isaac asserted his position as one of the country’s top athletes by clinching the 2023 National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe Athlete of the Year Award at a ceremony held in Harare yesterday.
The accomplished long-distance runner also secured the Senior Men Athlete of the Year accolade, surpassing United States-based sprinter Tapiwanashe Makarawu and Bradley Makuvire.
Expressing his gratitude, Mpofu said, “I am happy, I am grateful. That’s a big motivation for the coming events especially the Olympic Games.” He emphasized the importance of these awards, suggesting that their annual occurrence serves as inspiration to both seasoned and emerging athletes.
Mpofu’s achievements include competing at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last August, where he finished in 15th position with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes, and 33 seconds. He also performed well at the Boston Marathon and the Valencia Marathon, showcasing his consistency and prowess.
Mpofu is one of the two Zimbabwean athletes who have already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
In the women’s category, Vimbayi Maisvorewa, based in the United States, was honored with the Senior Women Athlete of the Year award, ahead of Ashley Miller and Faith Nyathi.
Junior Men of the Year and Junior Women of the Year awards went to Takunda Mhete and Kimberly Kachambwa respectively. Kachambwa, who won a silver medal in discus at the Confederation of African Athletics Under-18 and Under-20 Championships in Zambia, expressed excitement about her recognition and aspirations for the future.
Mhete, who secured a bronze medal in triple jump at the same continental meet, expressed gratitude for the acknowledgment and highlighted the dedication put in by himself and his coach.
All the winners received trophies and a book written by Robert Mutsauki titled “My Life and Footprint, volume one,” with Baldmin Holdings serving as the main sponsors of the awards.
NAAZ president Tendayi Tagara expressed gratitude to Baldmin Holdings for their support and outlined plans to enhance the event in the future.
Baldmin Holdings managing director and founder Costar Takawira emphasized the importance of incentivizing athletes to improve competition standards in the country.