MONICA RETURNS FROM PARALYMPIC GAMES
Zambia's 400 meters T13 Paralympic athlete Monica Munga has arrived back in the country after successfully representing the country at the just ended Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Upon arrival at the Kenneth Kaunda Airport in Lusaka today, the 22-year-old runner emphasized the need to adequately train and support more differently-abled athletes in order for them to compete and win at international competitions.
She shares that as a first-time participant in the Paralympics the experience was overwhelming as she had to quickly adapt to climatic differences.
She recounts that although sailing through the preparations for the games wasn't as smooth, the support from individuals and organizations made her push through the hurdles in the way.
Monica expressed her gratitude to the Government, the National Paralympic Committee of Zambia (NPCZ), and the National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) for rendering support and ensuring that she represented the country in Tokyo.
For Monica, her plea is for other sports associations to come on board in supporting more paralympic athletes adding that this would increase the chances of bagging medals.
" I encourage other sports associations not to leave the athletes behind but to train and support them so that the coming paralympic games have as many participants as possible as opposed to just sending one athlete," she echoes.
Despite not qualifying for the next round which would have put her in a medal-winning position, Monica set a personal best time of 1:05.79 for the 400 meters.
To her, the race does not end in Tokyo, as she is looking forward to representing the country at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai next year.
Meanwhile, NOCZ President Alfred Foloko said the organization was happy to have Monica represent over 18 Million Zambians at the games.
He said the council pledges to continue working with the Paralympic Committee in ensuring that the differently-abled athletes are not left behind in sport.
Mr. Foloko adds that sending one athlete in a country of over 18 Million people majority of whom are youths is a wake-up call for the National Sports Federations to do better.
He congratulated Monica for raising the Zambian Flag and encouraged the athlete to keep training hard.