Zimbabwe: Matiyenga Scoops Two Gold Medals

Sports Editor

LIVING to his favourite's billing, Zimbabwean sprinter, Tinotenda Matiyenga, dominated the men's 200m event at the 2021 Baylor Invitational outdoor track and field event at Waco, in Texas, United States, on Saturday.

Matiyenga (21), who is on an athletics scholarship at Texas Christian University, was just like a ball of fire, blitzing the field with a 20.66 seconds gold-winning time, at Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium.

He took the 200m, blazing a 20.66 seconds for a new personal record.

That mark joins his TCU's teammate Robert Gregory (Jnr) on the top-10 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) outdoor performance list this season.

Second and third places, in the men's 200m final, went to Abilene Christian University's duo of Jack Marshall (20.92 seconds) and Avery Williams (21.06 seconds).

Matiyenga, a former Prince Edward School pupil, was one of TCU's star performers during the Baylor Invitational, which was their third outdoor meet of the season.

After scooping the gold medal in the men's 200m event, Matiyenga claimed his second medal of the same colour when he helped the TCU men's 4x400m relay team to win this race with a good mark of 3:04.33.

The TCU men's 4x400m relay team had freshman David Seete, junior Matiyenga, freshman Gregory (Jnr) and Derrick Mokaleng, a senior from South Africa, in its line-up. Mokaleng anchored the TCU men's 4x400m relay team as they blitzed the 13-team field to claim the gold medal.

Second place in this event went to Stephen F. Austin State University who clocked 3:04.71 while the hosts Baylor settled for the bronze medal with a time of 3:05.29.

TCU won six events, set 15 new personal-best marks and broke a school record on Saturday at the Baylor Invitational meet which attracted male and female teams from seven university colleges -- Abilene Christian University, Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe, Oklahoma State, Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas Christian University, Texas Southern and Texas Tech.

The Frogs (TCU) first took first and second places in the men's 100m.

Gregory (Jnr) and TJ Brock crossed the line one millisecond apart. Gregory edged out Brock for the win, 10.266 to 10.267.

Gregory (Jnr) continues to have a stand-out freshman campaign, setting a new personal best in the event.

Gregory was joined on the winners' podium by his teammate Matiyenga who set a personal best time of 20.66 seconds when winning the men's 200m event.

Another Zimbabwean athlete, who is on an athletics scholarship at Texas Christian University, Kundai Maguranyanga (22), also set a personal-best mark in the men's 100m final, at the same Baylor Invitational meet on Saturday.

Maguranyanga, who is a 200m specialist, clocked 10.38 seconds as he finished in seventh position in the men's 100m dash.

But, his mark is a TCU collegiate-best and falls in the top-30 in the nation heading into Saturday.

"We competed well," TCU's director of track and field, Darryl Anderson, told reporters.

"We started off a little cold and windy and then fortunately the sun broke through the clouds for a little bit. At the end of the day, this was a work trip for us.

"We had a lot of good performances between the 4×400's, sprint events, discus and pole vault, just to name a few. All in all, I think the teams are getting better day-by-day and meet-by-meet."

Towards the end of January this year, Matiyenga broke the national 200-metre indoor record with a time of 20.75 seconds.

Matiyenga, who is now a Senior at the Texas Christian University where he is on a four-year athletics scholarship, set alight his own national indoor record of 20.80 seconds, recorded February 14, 2020.

He smashed the record during the first day of the two-day Texas Tech Invitational track and field meet at Lubbock in Texas, United States.

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