12 December 2012

Zambia: Paralympian Mints Gold

PARALYMPIAN Agness Simfukwe yesterday won a memorable gold medal at the ongoing 2012 Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Youth Games in Lusaka to swell Zambia's total medal haul to an impressive 24.

On the same track, Zambia's 100metres dash sensation Titus Chifunda came out with a bronze medal in a tightly-contested race dominated by South Africans.

Simfukwe, who represented Zambia at the 2012 Paralympics in London earlier this year, showed her class in the T12 woman 100 metres race where she finished way ahead of the pack to claim only Zambia's sixth gold medal of the event.

Participating in the athletics for the visually-impaired, Simfukwe went into the race knowing she had to impress immediately and announced herself by qualifying to the final with the second best time but bettered that position in the final.

The gold came with a time of 14.72 seconds relegating Tuelo Ramaeba of Botswana into second position for a silver medal and a bronze for Namibian Johanna Katjikuru with times of 15.18seconds and 15.32 seconds respectively.

And the other medal came from Chifunda after he was swamped by two South Africans in the final race despite qualifying with the best time of 10.48 seconds and it came to the finals, he beat his qualifying time but still ended up third though with a medal for Zambia.

Fans at the Olympics Youth Development Centre (OYDC) were left happy with the bronze Chifunda won with a time of 10.42 seconds. However, they still believed he could have won Zambia a gold medal taken by South African Akani Simbine (10:19 seconds) with his compatriot Siphelo Ngqabaza (10.33seconds) settling for silver.

Zambia's David Maluti was disqualified from competing in the 100 metres heat for a false start and later said "I feel bad but it's one of the things that happen in sport".

The track and field events continue today starting at 09:30 at OYDC.

Meanwhile, YVONNE SAKALA reports that judo double silver medal winner Lestina Siapeya says winning two silver medals during the competition is a great achievement.

Siapeya, winner of a silver medal in the 70 kilogrammes and open categories, said she was excited with her achievement but that she could have done better than what she achieved.

"I am happy that I have won two silver medals but not too happy because this is not what I expected to get from the Games. I was aiming for gold medals and I promise to work hard next time," Siapeya said.

And Sports Permanent Secretary Agnes Musunga said Government was happy to see first class performance from the judokas that took part in the two-day event held at the OYDC.

Musunga said she was impressed to see that Southern Africa had abundant talent during the Games and that it was a stepping stone for most of the fighters to continue raising the nations' flags high.

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