Malawian athlete Asimenye Simwaka yesterday won gold in 400-metres (m) after finishing in 53.31 seconds during track and field event held in Lusaka, Zambia.
On Saturday, she bagged silver in 200m while middle-distance runner Mercy Malembo took bronze in 1500m.
In an interview yesterday, coach Pachisi Nyasulu said Simwaka run 23:74 seconds to break her own record of 23:91 seconds while Malembo clocked 4:52 minutes to break her personal best of 4:57 minutes.
The coach said Olympic hopeful Stern Lifa sustained an injury while taking part in the heats and did not compete in the final.
“It wasn’t a good outing for Stern Lifa as he came fourth in heat one with a time of 10:53 seconds and was rushed to the hospital after sustaining a hamstring injury,” said Nyasulu.
Another middle-distance runner Sunganani Namakonje finished outside the podium position on fifth, but she improved her time to 2:32.07 minutes from her personal best of 2:38.00 minutes in 800m.
Athletics Association of Malawi acting general secretary Mzee Makawa said Lifa’s injury is a blow to Malawi’s hopes of producing a qualified athlete for Olympics.
“We are still hoping that Asimenye Simwaka could qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Of course, time is running out as the Games are scheduled for July 23 to August 8 in Japan,” he said.
This was the third time for Malawi to participate in track and field championship in Zambia with the support from Malawi Olympic Committee aimed at producing a qualified athlete.
Lifa and Simwaka improved their personal time and qualified for Africa Championship in Algeria which, due to Covid-19, has been rescheduled from this month to a date to be announced.