THE curtains have finally closed on Zambia’s act at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia with the contingent coming back with absolutely no medal.
Pretty disappointing it must be said considering it was one of the largest groups that travelled in recent outings to the ‘Club’ Games. It is not a shock though that there is no medal coming to Zambia but it is disappointing because it offers little hope for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Government and the National Olympic Committee said six years ago that they wanted an Olympic gold medal in the year 2020. That was eight years to the games and it was ample time for the associations to build up athletes for the challenge.
An Olympic gold medal does not come by accident like we normally pick medals from Zone Six Games where an athlete virtually known even in Zambia gets to win gold. An Olympic gold, let alone a bronze, takes serious investment, well coordinated and monitored progress.
The sad part about Zambia’s outing to the Commonwealth Games is that it offers no hope for the forthcoming Olympics in Tokyo, coming in the next two years.
After Sydney Siame won gold at the Nanjing Youth Olympics in China four years ago in the 100m dash, all were expectant of the 2020 Olympics gold especially that it was evident that Usain Bolt and the golden Jamaican generation would be out of the way with the United States of America offering little hope for a future 100m world champion.
His progress was well monitored and moved according to the set trajectory but inexplicably, Siame opted out of the 100m race and onto the 200m without offering a technical reason.
He reached the finals of the Commonwealth Games quick okay but the times posted through-out the competition were not inspiring to a country looking to see a gold medal from him in Japan.
This dampening showing is not restricted to Siame or the runners but all Zambian athletes as none showed real signs of improvement or working towards a 2020 Olympics gold.
Then the Sports Permanent Secretary Joe Kapembwa lamented the poor showing from the Gold Coast Games saying a lot of money was spent on putting the group on the plane to Australia as well as in preparations.
Well, I would rather go with his predecessor’s (Agnes Musunga) stance that winning medals takes much, much more than buying an air-ticket and sending the athletes out into the gladiator’s den.
The Zanaco Masters golf tournament is coming to a close today and like always, it’s the same old sad story for the local golfers. Poor performance even from the golf clubs they grow up on, posting impressive under-par scores week-, week-out.
But when opponents mainly from South Africa come calling, they fail to hold steady. Maybe this tells that one performs well alone than with competitors on the side. A pure case of stage freight.
Maybe players like Aaron Simfukwe junior should stop playing with hackers that take golf as a social game. By going this route, maybe, and just maybe we may have decent showing from them on the Sunshine Tour swing.
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