Girl, 14, breaks into weightlifting


A FOURTEEN-year-old Grade Nine pupil of Twashuka Basic School in Luanshya at the weekend lit up the Rowlee Limited-sponsored Zambia Weightlifting Federation (ZWF) national championships held in Kitwe with her exhilarating performance.
In an otherwise male dominated sport, Mutale Masala defied all odds by lifting a combined weight of 65kg and going by her age, it was described as a phenomenal lift and one with huge potential.
The daughter of a former national champion and Zambia coach, Mutale Masala from Luanshya Weightlifting club, started weightlifting early this year after initially trying out athletics.
“She started out with athletics. I exposed her to various athletics competition including the Inter-Company Relay in Lusaka, but I noticed she can make it bigger in weightlifting, so I introduced her to the sport early this year,” Masala said of his daughter.
She unfortunately was the only competitor in the women’s category and went away with the top prize.
ZWF secretary Dominic Mutale described Masala’s performance as impressive and foresaw a bright future in her career, and was confident that her exploits would attract more women to the sport.
“We have problems attracting women to the sport. I hope this impressive performance will be able to bring us more women to weightlifting,” Mutale said.
In other results, Kitwe Playing Fields (KPF) dominated the event and went away as runaway winners on 10 points, seven ahead of second-placed Mufulira, with Champions Gym finishing third on two points and Chambishi who were without a single point.
KPF got their points from first place finishes by Naden Mwewa in the 69kg category with a combined lift of 195kg, Douglas Mutale was tops in the 175kg group and Alex Kanyenga in the 85kg class who lifted 200kg weights.
Champions Gym’s Henry Nsenga was second in the 85kg category when he lifted 190kg with Francis Musonda of KPF finishing third with a combined lift of 155kg.
Mufulira finished second after their lifter Ian Chiwala finished first in the 105kg category, but were unfortunate to see the other club lifter in the same weight category get disqualified after failing the snatch.
Mutale praised the event’s sponsors, Rowlee Limited and encouraged them to continue supporting the sport. He called on other corporate companies to support weightlifting.