OLIVIA CHITATE ran the race of her life at the recent IAAF World Championships in China, posting a 5 000m personal best of 16:34:70.

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Not losing hope . . . Olivia Chitate  in action during the IAAF World Championships in Beijing China recently

Not losing hope . . . Olivia Chitate in action during the IAAF World Championships in Beijing China recently

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When she left Harare for Beijing the athlete knew that only a personal best time would give her a chance at scooping a medal at the world showcase.

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Well, as it turned out, her personal best saw the 28-year old coming last in a heat won by Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia in a time of 15:20:82.

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Chitate is looking at the positives.

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“Before the championships I had set a target of coming home with a medal, but after seeing that I could not attain it I ran for my time.

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“I am happy I managed to achieve my best time at such high level event. The onus is on me to ensure that I keep on improving,” she said.

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The Zimbabwe Republic Police officer bemoaned poor preparations.

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“With proper preparations I believe we can bring medals, we are good enough, but it will always be difficult when we don’t prepare well,” said Chitate who only had one month to prepare.

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After returning for the World Championships with mixed feelings Chitate is determined to leave a mark at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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“The next big thing I am targeting is an Olympic medal, for that to happen I have to win at the Africa Games and I will try my best to do so.

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“I think I still have 12 more years of racing left in me,” said Chitate who leaves for Brazzaville to join the rest of Team Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

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As she heads for the Africa Games Chitate is driven by the need to add more glitter to a year that she already describes as “very successful.”

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“I won gold at the Southern Region Cross Country Championships in Malawi in February after I had won silver in 2013 in Lesotho.

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“I also made significant improvement coming 32nd at this year’s World Cross Country Championships in China in March, because in 2013 in Poland I took position 49. At the World Championships I posted my personal best time so this has been a good year, a very successful year” said Chitate who also scooped several medals at the Sarpco Games.

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When she relooks at 2015 long after she has retired Chitate will have pictures taken alongside the likes of Dibaba and Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt to savour.

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“At the World Championships I made a lot of friends and also got time to have pictures with Dibaba and Bolt,” reveals Chitate, a Caps United fan who believes Makepekepe will finish the season on a high following the return of Lloyd Chitembwe.

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“Away from the track I love spending time with family and going to watch Caps United in action. I know most of my fellow Caps supporters are not happy with the way the club has been performing of late but we should not lose hope. We can still end the season among the top four.”