Zimbabwean long distance runner Fortunate Chidzivo who broke the national record, and became an IAAF bronze medal runner will finally participate in the World Half Marathon Championship in Poland after she was granted a visa last week.
The South African based long distance runner left South Africa for Zimbabwe in March, with the aim of securing a Polish visa. That was before IAAF had postponed the World Half Marathon.
Lockdown restrictions caused by the covid-19 pandemic meant that Chidzivo would spend 4-5 months resorting to skipping and general conditioning. The former boxer resumed running in August with the assistance of Cephas Pasipamire.
Next up she needed a Polish visa, and the only place she would get that visa was in Pretoria.
National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe put up a brave fight and secured Chidzivo an appointment with the Polish Embassy in Pretoria. On 24 September Polish Embassy in Pretoria send NAAZ a correspondent, granting Chidzivo an appointment on the 29th of September.
After numerous efforts of trying to identify available flights to South Africa NAAZ failed to identify a single flight. And a determined and passionate Chidzivo was willing to travel to South Africa by road.
On Sunday 27 September Chidzivo journey to the 21.1km World Half Marathon begin. With a clearance to travel letter Chidzivo didn’t face any major challenges up until she reached the border.
Despite having had a covid-19 test done and tested negative border officials told her that her documents were not sufficient. She had to take a taxi travel to Bulawayo.
Had another covid-19 test done result came out negative, and proceeded to the border. Were she was told to wait for 24 hours meaning she would only enter South Africa on the 1st of October.
Click here to listen to our latest interview with Fortunate Chidzivo and Coach Chris Bruwer https://www.spreaker.com/episode/41440960
Because of her determination, passion and zeal she waiting for 24 hours was nothing. Tiger managed to step into South Africa on the 1st of October. And had to wait for her next visa appointment which had been re-scheduled for the 5th of October.
Everything went well and her she received her visa on the 12th of October. Flew back home to Zimbabwe packed a few stuff and departed for Poland today.
Asked about her expectations at the World Half Marathon Chidzivo said she will be using the race as a pre Olympic qualify warm up session. The IAAF World Half Marathon kicks off on the 17th of October in Poland