Charge D Affairs at the Zambia High Commission in London, Mrs. Patricia Sikaala Chanda has hailed the impressive performance exhibited by the two Zambian athletes at the just ended 2017 IAAF Athletes World Championships in London.
And Zambia Athletics Association (ZAA) President Elias Mpondela has described Mupopo and Siame as gems following their performances at the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships in London.
Mrs. Chanda said when Mpondela and the team paid a courtesy call on her at the Zambia High Commission that the two athletes Kabange Mupopo and Sydney Siame are heroes because of their amazing persistent spirit exhibited throughout the Championship in London adding that their performance is a great inspiration to Zambia.
“Watching Kabange Mupopo and Sydney Siame at Olympic Stadium in Stratford made me very proud being a Zambian, all I can say is well done team Zambia, we are very proud of you. We salute your achievements at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. You lifted the Zambian flag high,” she said.
And Mpondela said Mupopo’s 400 meters final qualification despite finishing 7th is unprecedented and believed the 2015 All-Africa Games Gold winner and Shepolopolo star will continue to enjoy success.
“From our perspective, it was the second time she was running at this level. I was with her in Brazil at the 2016 Olympic Games and she didn’t do as much as she has done here,” Mpondela said.
“Really, we are on the right path because she has only been in competitive athletics for only two years which is not normal. The normal rise is five-ten years so we are very pleased with Wednesday’s performance and to also see her post a personal best time here.”
Mpondela added that Mupopo and Siame’s performances were a bright sign of Zambia’s medal hopes at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“From her progression in two years, she is a gem because you cannot spring from nowhere and do what she’s doing, we believe she will do well at the Tokyo Olympics,” Mpondela added.
“As for Sydney, he is talented naturally, he has broken the national record at just 20 years. He did extremely well.”
Mpondela said that ZAA is very excited to see Siame’s graph also rising from a 17-year-old Gold medal winner in the 100 meters at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in China to date when he recently switched to the 200 meters and managed to reach the semi-finals in London.
“From our performances here, we are very happy. We went up to the finals and to the semi-finals in competitive races,” he said.
“Mupopo was the only one from Africa who represented the continent the 400 women’s meters final and we are now number 7 in the 400 meters in the World. We are number 12 in the men’s 200 meters in the World,” he said.
Mpondela also praised Coach Douglas Kalembo for his great work with the sprinters. “And with this passionate coach, we believe we will succeed and do well,” the ZAA president said.
He went onto say that ZAA was also motivated to even do better in terms of grassroots development following the results at this year’s World Championships in London.
Mpondela said the nation should look forward to more success from Mupopo and Siame when they return to the track on September 1 in Belgium when they participate in the Brussels leg of 2017 IAAF Diamond League series next month.
He added that the duo were also expected to return to the United Kingdom next year for the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
Birmingham will host the biannual event from March 1-4 in 2018.
Meanwhile Counselor Economic Mr. Mukela Mutukwa has said it was amazing to see Zambians running with seasoned athletes on the same stage.
“Such talent is what will help people know about Zambia. Getting to the finals of the 400 meters is not a small thing. The two athletes need to be given recognition for their splendid performance. There is a lot of talent in Zambia and it needs to be nurtured so that we as a country can actively participate in big competitions like the IAAF Athletes World Championships,” he said.
Please let us support these young talented people. Sport is not just football. Athletes are doing very well on the international stage.
There is no need to celebrate. We just need to go back to the drawing board. Start developing and identifying talent from Nursery, primary and secondary schools. Talent is not only found along the line of railway. There is a lot of untapped talent out there in rural areas. I remember the current ZAA coach he was my school mate and junior at Solwezi Boys then in Mulungushi House where I used to be a captain. I used to push to field to participate in track events. We used to have inter schools and provincial competitions. And each school used to have a PE teacher. I don’t know what is happening now? In our Zambian way may I join commending the our participants for a good achievement. You will do well next time
Muwelewele is very right; PE should be re introduced in schools.
where is the said ‘She?” in the pictues
Elias Mpondela is still around ..I though i saw the last of that useless man, he has clung on even aged in that position!!
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