By Adrian Mwanza -
UNITED States of America (USA) based Zambian sprinter Gerald Phiri has been knocked out of the ongoing Confederations of African Athletics (CAA) African senior championship in Durban, South Africa by a thigh injury, effectively ending his hopes gold medal.
Phiri, who is the Zambian recorded holder in both the 100m and 200m races, injured himself in the semi final of the 100m race at the continental championship.
In the semi-final, Phiri finished second in Heat-Two with a time of 10.24 seconds, which booked a place in the final where he did not start (DNS).
And while there was bad news at Phiri, who was hoping to bring his time to sub-10 seconds, there was good news elsewhere as African women 400m champion Kabange Mupopo cantered to the final with relative ease.
After winning her Heat in the preliminaries, timing 52.1 seconds, Mupopo finished second in her semi-final heat with an improved time of 52.0 seconds, same as heat winner Kenyan Margaret Nyairera.
She was by press time still to get to the tracks for the final.
Teenage Brian Kasinda had his dream in the 100m end at semi-finals stage after impressing in the preliminary but will look to an improved performance in the 200m race together with hotshot Sydney Siame.
There was good news for the Zambia relay team however which qualified to the final with an impressive showing in the qualifying stage where they won Heat-One with a time of 39.87 seconds to beat Botswana Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
Heat-Two had the West-African giants of Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal together with Kenya with Ivory Coast taking the heat a time slightly better than Zambia on 39.7 seconds.
Relay team member Brian Kasinda said he was confident that they will emerge victors in the finals.
“Our performance in the semi-finals speaks volumes and I’m sure we shall win relay because we have a strong and positive team,” he said.