Marathon runner Nyahora qualifies for Paris Olympics under universality quota

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Zimbabwean long distance runner Rutendo Nyahora has booked her place at the Paris Olympics under the universality quota following confirmation by World Athletics on Wednesday.

Nyahora was nominated for the universality slot in the women’s marathon competition by the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe after local athletes failed to achieve the Olympic Qualification Time (OQT) to secure a direct place at Paris 2024.

In a statement on Wednesday, World Athletics released the names of marathoners who have been accepted to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games thanks to a universality wildcard.

Paris Olympic Games official logo

Six African runners are among them, with Nyahora joined by Lesotho’s Mokulubete Blandina Makatisi and Helalia Johannes from Namibia in the women’s field.

The three male African athletes who earned universality wildcards are Cape Verde’s Samuel Freire, Valentin Betoudji from Chad and Sudanese Yaseen Abdalla.

Countries without a qualified athlete, as well as those with athletes qualified in only one gender, are eligible for a universality wildcard.

For the Paris 2024 Olympics, these wildcards are allocated for the marathon, 800m (3 per gender only), and 100m.

The announcement for wildcards in the 100m and 800m will be made early July.

Nyahora becomes the second local marathon runner to qualify for the Paris Olympics, joining Isaac Mpofu, who attained qualification standard for the men’s marathon last year.

Other Zimbabwean athletes who have qualified for the world’s biggest multi-sporting fiesta are sprinter Tapiwanashe Makarawu and rower Steve Cox.

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