Athletics coach pleased with consistency Briad Nhubu

Ellina Mhlanga in NDOLA, Zambia

WITH Zimbabwe making some positive strides in field events at the ongoing Confederation of African Athletics Championships in Ndola, head coach for youth and junior teams Briad Nhubu says there is need to equally focus on the events. 

Zimbabwe had four medals — one silver and three bronze — by late afternoon yesterday, all won in field events. 

Kimberly Kachambwa got silver in the Under-18 women discus while Rodney Ngezimani and Takunda Mhete got a bronze each in shot put and triple jump respectively, in the Under-20 category. 

Takunda Mubariki added another bronze medal after coming third in the men’s Under-20 discus event late yesterday. 

“Well it’s quite exciting. I am sure we had mentioned earlier on that we are going to make an improvement considering the number of athletes we have this time around. 

“I am also excited that for the first time we are having medals coming from both the Under-18 and Under-20 categories. 

“And all the athletes regardless of some losing in the semis, some in the finals, they are putting up very brave fights. 

“And also we are observing that as a country it’s an eye-opener that we need to concentrate more on field events because all the medals that we have, they are coming from field events. 

“We got a gold medal coming from triple jump (Chengetayi) Mapaya, that was in Algeria (2017). Of course, in Algeria we also managed to secure some gold medals from the track events such as the 4x100m and 100m and 200m events. 

“But 2019 we got a bronze from triple jump. So that’s a true reflection of the strength that we have in field events when it comes to this higher stage of competition as compared to the track where we are always finishing either in the finals or semi-finals, particularly in the sprints,” said Nhubu. 

Zimbabwe have had several of their track athletes making the semi-finals and finals at the ongoing competition. 

Nhubu, who has been in charge of youth and junior teams for various assignments, said another area that looks promising is middle and long-distance for women. 

In some of the events from yesterday’s session, Nontokozo Ncube and Brenda Njodzi pulled through to today’s 800m finals. 

Ncube was second in the Under-20 women while Njodzi was second in the Under-18 women in the heats yesterday.

Zimbabwe also had representatives in both the Under-20 and Under-18 men 800m but they all failed to pull through to the finals. 

“It was quite fantastic. The girls have fought, very good running and setting themselves second respectively in their events. I think it was a very good show.

“However, when it comes now to the finals, I guess, who knows, we might be lucky to be amongst the best three but it’s going to be a tall order considering that Kenya and Ethiopia were fielding three athletes and all of them qualifying, they will be in the final,” said Nhubu. 

Ncube expressed satisfaction with her performance yesterday. 

“Today’s race was a bit tough but I just tried my best and I came second. I think I will do better in the finals tomorrow. 

“I just wanted to chase the Kenyan and I just wanted to make sure I maintained my place in the leading pack. 

“For tomorrow I just want to stick to those that would be leading and try to push for a better position towards in the last 100m or 50m,” said Ncube. 

In other events, Stacy Nyawasha was placed fifth in javelin with personal best of 38.02m in the Under-18 women. 

In the Under-18 men shot put, Prosper Zimbango also came fifth with a 14.4m throw while some of the events were scheduled for the evening. 

In today’s events, apart from the 800m finals, Zimbabwe are also expected to compete in 400m hurdles Under-20 men and women, and 4x400m relay.

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