• Chishimba Bwalya

Rhoda continues top-form with record-setting win


RHODAH Njobvu

IT WOULD not be far-fetched to assume that Rhoda Njobvu is in cloud nine ahead of the Olympic Games in July.


On Saturday, the 27 year-old continued with her rich vein of form as she set a new national record in 200 metres and a personal best at the track and field events in Botswana.


The sprinter, who was taking part in the competition as part of international camping with Sydney Siame ahead of the games next month, clocked 22.65 seconds on her way to winning the 200m final.


She beat her previous record of 22.69s which confirmed her qualification for the Tokyo games.


Just like her recent performance in Lusaka at the All-Comers Meets, the race in Botswana underlined her rising prowess as one of Africa's top runners to watch in Tokyo - she won by nearly three quarters of a second.


In the Botswana race, Luongo Matlhaku, who was Njobvu’s closest rival in second, clocked 23.37s, while third-placed Motlatsi Rante was further behind with 24.92s.


She has not lost a race since October 3 last year, when she finished third in Kenya at the World Continental Tour.


In 100m, Njobvu also victorious, clocking 11.29s ahead of Matlhaku and Nancy Budzani who timed 11.56s and 12.19s respectively.


The last seven months have been a period of record-breakers for the sprinter.


The women’s record for 200m stood at 23.03s and was held by Kabange Mupopo since 2017. Njobvu made her first attempt at breaking in December last year when she clocked 23.07s seconds.


Close though it was, the sprinter would have to wait until April 10 this year at the All-Comers Meet where she would clock 22.69s for her to break it and usurp Mupopo from the top of the charts.


Since then, Njobvu has gone on to set new records; becoming the first woman to qualify on home soil as well as doing so in both 100m and 200m.


On Match 20, the sprinter set a record of 11.12s time in 100m to qualify for the Tokyo Games in Lusaka.

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