• Chishimba Bwalya

It's strategic, I will hit peak - Siame


Siame believes he will improve with time.

THERE has been concern that Sydney Siame’s form has dwindled since he qualified for the Olympics two years ago but the sprinter believes he will improve as he gets closer to the Games.


The African champion clocked 20.57 seconds in the previous race on Sunday at the All Comers Meet at National Heroes Stadium in 200 metres.


But although it was a notable improvement from his 21.04s from last month, It was marginally far from his 20.16s record time of 2019 that saw him become the country’s first athlete to qualify for the Games.


However Siame believes this is all part of a strategy and he will improve his timings as the games approach adding that people should be patient with him.


“Of course people want me to run fast but I know what I am doing, if I start running fast today it will be very difficult for me to perform at the Olympics because I won’t maintain form. I cannot maintain form for a long time, I can only maintain form for two or three weeks,” he said on Thursday, prior to his participation at the recent ended Meet.


“I want to pick at the right time and that is why I am not panicking, I am just following the process.”


Siame said he was drawing lessons from his performance at the World Championships in Doha two years ago where he failed to perform according to expectations due to what he termed as lack of a proper plan.


“I was doing well but we didn’t take time to look at this problem whereby athletes have got a certain time to maintain the form and for me we didn’t put up a plan that can help me in terms of that.


“You cannot maintain form in four months, it’s very difficult and that was my problem. All along I was running PBs (personal best) and national records, winning races, but I got tired and the World Championships was in August and I started performing so early in January, I was running fast and I managed to win the All Africa Games and I competed in 21 meets, all I can say is my body was tired and this is the same problem I don’t want to face,” he explained.


With the Olympics starting on July 23, Siame has three months left to prepare and he believes it will be more about the competitions and not just training.


Key to an adequate preparations will also be the Zambia Athletics calendar where there are nine crucial events which have been lined up, including European camping and international meets.


These could provide the 200m specialist with the much needed exposure that he says will be key in if his performance is to improve.


“In athletics it’s about competition, not about training. Ever since I qualified for the Olympics I haven’t competed enough, so it was a challenge.


“But I have been preparing since then and now my preparation is going on well and looking at my time, the times I am clocking in training and the time I clocked in my previous race, it’s a good indication that I am going somewhere.”


Asked about his confidence at the Olympics, Siame said he had gained experience from previous competitions and knows what it takes to win something at the Olympics.


“I have been in athletics for a long time and I have competed at major championships so many times, so I know what it takes to be there and perform to my level best and win something for the nation.”


This will be the 23 year-old’s first appearance at the Olympics.