• Chishimba Bwalya

Rhoda dominates at All Comers

Updated: Jun 9


SATURDAY, MAY 15, 2021: ZAMBIAN runner Rhoda Njobvu crossing the finishing line during All Comers competition at National Heroes Stadium. PICTURE: Jean Mandela

RHODA NJOBVU underlined just how ready she is for the Olympic Games in July as she provided the spectacle of the two-day Zambia Athletics-organised All Comers Meet held at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday.


The sprinter showcased her sprinting velocity by beating the 22.80s Olympics qualifying time yet again in 200m as she won the women’s final in some eye-catching style.

Njobvu

Njobvu who had already qualified in both 100 and 200m from previous two events clocked 22.79s as she saw off competition from Malawi’s Asimenye Simwaka and Zambia Correctional Service Athletics runner Abigail Sepiso who sealed the podium places.


She did it with impressive but also relative ease, beating second-placed Simwaka by nearly a full second (95 milliseconds) while Sepiso was a further 45 milliseconds behind.


In the 100m, ZSCA sprinter Hellen Makumba edged off her club-mate Suwilanji Mpondela for the second consecutive event as she won with 11.59s, which unfortunately for her was marginally off Olympics qualifying time of 11.15s.


Mpondela meanwhile clocked 11.79s, ahead of Samuel Matete Athletics Club’s Ruth Mutale who finished with 11.96s.


Meanwhile 400m Olympics-hopeful Kennedy Luchembe also scooped first place but fell short of the required 44.90s qualifying time as he posted 45.79s on Saturday.


The former Spanish-based sprinter however felt he could have done better if not for the delayed schedule which he felt had affected his timing.


"The race was well planned, but it's just that the time we are running has affected the time I have posted.


"I have been here since morning and we are running close to 13. We did our best it just wasn't good enough.


Luchembe missed the qualifying time by 89 milliseconds was also short of his personal best of 45.51s which he had set at the previous Meet.


In terms of performance, he was exceptional as he beat off what was only local competition by nearly a full second.


On Sunday, Olympics bound-Sydney Siame finished fifth in the 200m final with 20.90s behind South Africa’s Dambile Sinespho who scooped first place clocking 20.70s.


Lumeka Katundu watched on from the stands as she was still recovering from a hamstring she sustained during the World Relay Championships in Poland.


The ZCSA sprinter is only expected to be back in training at the end of this week.