Athletes Siame, Kafunda leave for Germany

Sydney Siame of Zambia celebrates after the Men's 100m Final of Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Sydney Siame of Zambia

WORLD Youth Olympics 100 metres athletics champion Sydney Siame and his compatriot Titus Kafunda yesterday left for Germany to take part in the World Track and Field Championship that starts tomorrow.
Siame and Kafunda have been invited to the one-day meet following their outstanding performance at the World Championship held in Dakar at which both posted the best times in the 100 metres dash.
The two runners would be accompanied by Germany athletics expert Ralph Mouchbahani, who has been attached to the Zambia amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA), for the contest to be held in Regensburg.
The championship also acts as qualifiers to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with the two marginally out of the qualifying time.
Mouchbahani expressed happiness at the invitation of the two runners as it was a big statement on the progress the country was making in athletics.
At the Dakar Championships, Siame clocked an impressive 10.18seconds, his personal best, while Kafunda timed 10.26seconds in the 100m race.
While the times remain their best, the Association of International Athletics Federations (IAAF) is looking at the wind speed at the Dakar meet while the Rio-Olympics qualifying time for the 100m race has been set at 10.16 seconds.
Meanwhile, ZAAA has decided to invite all political parties to this year’s Inter-Company Relay (ICR) set for next weekend.
ZAAA president Elias Mpondela said that sport was a builder and that he wants this year’s ICR to sooth the perceived political tension in the country.
Mpondela said ZAAA had since invited Republican President Edgar Lungu to grace this year’s event especially that he had taken part in the 10.4 kilometres and ran the course when he was Home Affairs Minister in 2012.
The ZAAA president hailed growing interest of companies taking part in the ICR.
So far 70 companies have confirmed participation for the June 20 race while FNB has continued to field the largest number of participants sponsoring about 109 runners for this year’s race.
Some of the big companies that have sponsored the ICR include Zambia Breweries, Multi-Choice Zambia, Zambia Sugar, MPK Group, ZSIC among others.