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  • Writer's pictureChishimba Bwalya

Rhoda still determined to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Rhoda after setting a new national record in 100 metres on Sunday.

Despite having missed out on qualifying for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games at the recent All-Comers Meet held at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka last Sunday, athlete Rhoda Njobvu is still confident that she can get there through upcoming qualifying events.

The sprinter still has a chance to qualify on December 26 if she can beat the standard time of 22.80 seconds in 200 meters and 10.15 seconds in 100 metres.

She clocked 11.20 and 23.07s in 100 and 200m respectively, consequently missing out on what would have made her the first female from athletics to qualify for the 2021-slated games.

But she has not given up on getting there in the coming events. If she manages to qualify, it would be her first-ever appearance at the games.

“I’m very proud of myself for putting up such a performance that saw me break two national records, despite having come from a long COVID-19 break,” she said.

“At the same time, am very sad and disappointed that I missed the qualifying time by just milliseconds, which I’m currently working on” Njobvu said. “I will make it up on December 26.”

"She is hoping to be only the sixth Zambian woman sprinter to have represented the country at the Olympics in the 21st Century."

Coronavirus has taken its toll on Njobvu’s chances of competing this year with most major events having been knocked off the calendar year or postponed.

Nevertheless, she has been working hard and managed a bronze at the Continental Tour Series in Kenya held in September.

While in Kenya she set a new record in 200m of 23.18 seconds before breaking it again back home at the recent Meet.

It is a kind of personal performance that has motivated her to work even harder and hopefully get a kit sponsorship deal with some of the world-renowned sports outfits like Nike or Addidas.

“I have managed to archive all I have to date without sponsorship, and with this NOCZ support, I will be able to do a lot,” she said, “Coach Douglas is doing so much to ensure I get a qualification, which I will get, and soon.”

The 26 year old is currently ranked number 99 in the world in 100 metres but also holds the national record in the same category.

She is hoping to be only the sixth Zambian woman sprinter to have represented the country at the Olympics in the 21st Century.


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