One of Zimbabwe’s top long-distance runners Isaac Mpofu yesterday broke the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisations Games half-marathon record which earned him a gold medal as the Zimbabwe Republic Police team continue to lead other countries here.
Mpofu managed to finish the race on 1hr 1minute, breaking the record which was at 1 hour 3minutes since the launch of the SARPCCO Games in 1999.
In July, Mpofu also put an amazing performance at the World Athletics Championships when finishing on position 10 in the men’s marathon and setting a new national record in Eugene, Oregon, United States.
Mpofu crossed the finishing line in 2hrs 7minutes 57 seconds to beat the previous national record that stood at 2hrs 9minutes 52 seconds, set by Cuthbert Nyasango in 2014.
He ran a qualifying time of 2 hours 10 minutes 24 seconds during the Durban International Marathon in South Africa.
In an interview yesterday, Mpofu said although he had so far scooped two gold medals and a bronze, the Games were tough.
“The only thing that I can say is that the Games were a little bit tough. We came here thinking that we were going to easily take the medals but we discovered that it was a little bit challenging,” he said.
Mpofu said during yesterday’s half-marathon, it was challenging because of the hot weather being experienced here.
“Despite this I managed to get a gold medal. On breaking the SARPCCO Games half-marathon record, I am happy and that’s my objective in each and every race to improve on my time for a better future,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Republic Police team has now scooped 24 gold, 30 silver and 17 bronze medals to make it a total of 71 medals during these Games.
Some of the athletes who scooped the medals are Ngonidzashe Ncube, Elijah Mabhunu, Olivia Chitate, Trust Chidomaya, Ethel Pangiso, Tryphine Picardo, Roy Zacharia, Grace Gimo, Nyasha Gadaga, Tanaka Mazadza, Molly Ngwarati, Clarin Dzawu and Linient Chipendo, among others.
Tanzania now has 18 gold, 10 silver and nine bronze medals making it a total of 37 medals.
Namibia Police has six gold, four silver and 12 bronze medals while Swaziland has three gold and one bronze.
Malawi has one gold, one silver and one bronze, Zambia has one gold medal only while Mozambique has one gold, three silver and five bronze medals. DRC hasn’t obtained any medal as yet.
The 11th Edition of the SARPCCO Games is expected to end on September 15.
The Games are meant to create a platform for police officers from the region to engage in fruitful interaction, sharing ideas on policing traditions and fostering regional friendship, understanding and cooperation through sport.
In 2019, the ZRP won the overall trophy at the 10th edition of these games, which were held in Angola, for the fifth time in a row.
Team Zimbabwe scooped 20 gold, 25 silver and 21 bronze medals to make it a total of 66 medals.
Team Zimbabwe also received trophies for netball, athletics and darts.
SARPCCO is the primary force in Southern Africa in the prevention and fighting of cross-border crimes.