Zimbabwe: Triple Jumper Masibhera Scoops Gold in U.S.

This year's collegiate track and field indoor season in the United States seems to have been made in heaven for a number of Zimbabwean athletes who are on athletics scholarships at universities in that country.

They recently hogged the limelight when they have scooped a number of gold medals in different 2021 indoor championships.

Leading the way is triple jumper Chengetayi "Du" Mapaya, who first won a gold medal for Texas Christian University, after he jumped 16.63 metres, during the two-day Texas Tech Invitational indoor track and field meet.

His mark was ranked fifth in the world.

Mapaya scooped another gold medal, in the triple jump, at the weekend, during the two-day Big 12 Indoor Championship at Texas Tech's Sports Centre.

He soared to victory with another good jump of 16.55m, on his first attempt, and passed on his final four.

Another Texas Christian University-based Zimbabwean athlete, Tinotenda Matiyenga, won three medals -- two silvers and a bronze -- in the men's 60m dash, 4x400m relay and 200m events, at the same meet.

And, another United States-based Zimbabwean triple jumper, Cloud Masibhera, buried himself in glory, after he claimed the first step on the podium, in the men's triple jump event, during the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championship.

Masibhera (22), is on an athletics scholarship at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, United States.

He was part of the private college's men's and women's track and field teams that took part in the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championship last weekend.

The Drake University men's and women's track and field teams had another historic day with two more conference titles, and four others, advancing to the Sunday finals.

Saturday began with Masibhera winning the men's triple jump with a personal best of 15.16m.

His jump beat the field by nearly a foot, and is the fifth-best indoor mark, in school history.

His indoor triple jump crown is just the third ever by a Bulldog and first since 1988.

Masibhera's gold medal-winning feat, in the men's triple jump, saw the Drake University men's and women's track and field teams, capping a successful three days in Missouri, as the men's team recorded their best team finish, since 2000.

Drake's men finished fourth, in the team standings, with 60 points, to record the team's highest finish, since the 2000 team finished third.

It was also just the third time, since 1990, that the Bulldogs have finished fourth or better.

The Bulldogs closed the three-day MVC Championship with four individual MVC Champions in Yinka Mary Ajayi (women's 400m), Adam Fogg (men's 3 000m), Isaac Basten (men's 5000m) and Masibhera (men's triple jump).

Drake also got all-conference performances from Ryan Schweizer (men's Mile -- 3rd) and Joey Harkins (men's Weight Throw -- 2nd).

Interestingly, Masibhera is a former pupil of Harare's Churchill High, who are also called the Bulldogs.

Masibhera's personal bests in indoor championships are 7.24seconds for the 60m dash, 7.52m for long jump and 15.16m in the triple jump.

In the 2020 indoor season, Masibhera was 12th in the long jump at MVC Indoor Championships.

He set a personal best in the 60m at the Cyclone Open and won the long jump event before finishing second in the long jump at the Graduate Classic.

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