KABANGE Mupopo yesterday raced to a gold medal in 400m to ameliorate Zambia’s poor showing at the All-Africa Games, which conclude this weekend.
The Zambian runner-cum-footballer, whose showing at last month’s world championship was poor, demonstrated a clean pair of heels to breast the tape in 50.22 seconds ahead of Nigeria’s Okon George, who timed 50.77 seconds.
Her performance was an improvement from the 50.94 seconds in the semis and 51.19 seconds in the first round on Sunday.
But Saviour Kombe crumbled in the final despite putting up a decent show in the 400m semi-final.
He was last, taking 46.65 seconds in a race won by Namibia’s Isaac Makwala, who took 44.35 seconds.
Brian Kasinda finished in distant sixth position with 10.47 seconds in the 100m final, falling far off the medal bracket.
Kasinda, who shone in the semi-finals racing to first position on 10.29 seconds, failed to display the same form.
Ben Youssef Meite of Ivory Coast won gold with 10.04 seconds and Nigeria’s Ogho Oghene Egwero settled for silver on 10.17 seconds.
Ivorian Koffy Wilfred Hua managed a bronze medal with 10.23 seconds.
“It was a tough final and I was competing with seniors who have been competing in the last 10 years. It is a big achievement to reach the final,” Kasinda said.
The Zambian relay team qualified for the final of the 4X100m after finishing third.
The team, comprising Chidamba Hazemba, Kasinda, Titus Kafunda and Sydney Siame, was in lane five and timed 39.31 seconds in a heat two race.
Nigeria were winners with 38.97 seconds and Ivory Coast were second on 39.07 seconds.
“We are aiming to win a medal but we don’t know the colour of the medal. Nigeria and Ivory Coast will give us competition but we are ready,” Siame said.