Blossoming female athlete Asimenye Simwaka yesterday failed to reach the 100 metres (m) final at the Tokyo Olympics, but found solace in breaking a third national record.
She has also qualified for next African Athletics Championship, a feat she achieved in 400m earlier this year, but the event was cancelled due to Covid-19.
After a vintage performance in the first hit in which she came second in 11.76 seconds behind Joella Lloyd of Antigua and Barbuda, Simwaka qualified for the quarter-finals which was also the main round of qualification in which she finished eighth, clocking 11.68 seconds.
In the main round, the 27-year-old Malawian short-distance runner competed against world-class athletes such as American Teahna Daniels and Briton Dina Asher-Smith, who qualified for the global showpiece after their outstanding performances at the 2019 World Athletics Championship.
Athletics coach Pachisi Nyasulu was all praises for his athlete for punching above her weight to make it to the main round.
He said: “It is amazing that someone who did not qualify defied the odds to make to the last round of qualification.
“Although she did not make it, her performance was amazing as she broke the third national record in 100m which, for a long time, has been held by Susan Tengatenga.
“This shows that Asimenye is making great strides and with proper training and guidance, she is destined for the best.”
The coach said Simwaka has qualified for the next Africa Athletics Championship as the qualification time is 11.7.
On her part, Simwaka said although she is disappointed not to have sailed through, she gave it her best shot.
“Of course, I am excited to have broken the national record in 100m and also to have made the final qualification round.
“But I hope to do better next time. I will not be satisfied until I win medals on the world stage,” she said.
In June this year, Simwaka broke the record in 200m at the Cameroon National Athletics Championship where she clocked 23.46 seconds while in May, she broke the 400m record by clocking 53.31 seconds at the All Corners Track and Field in Zambia.