ZAMBIA will perform well in handball at the forthcoming All-Africa Games (AAG, Congo Brazzaville because its national team has trained hard ahead of the event, says president Bwalya Banda.
Commenting on the draws in which Zambia has been pitted against Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coats in Group B, Banda said the team was looking beyond the group stage.
Banda said the team had beaten the Democratic Republic of Congo before and that it was looking forward to an exciting group stage, adding that although Zambia has not played against Ivory Coast, it had trained adequately to achieve the desired results.
“We are optimistic that we shall top the group stage because our team has been training hard since December last year. The draw is fair in that we have played and beaten the Democratic Republic of Congo before. We have not played Ivory Coast before but we are very positive that we shall top Group B,” Banda said.
And Banda has observed that the creation of a local league in Zambia had not only enhanced competition among players, but has also made it easier for the association to roll out the sport to the rest of the country.
He said the training of 150 teachers from across the country as coaches had helped the transformation of the sport as most schools had embraced handball and assimilated it into their extra-curriculum sporting activities.
Meanwhile, the local league has entered week two and had seen ZNS Green Eagles senior men losing 22-24 to OYDC’s Lusaka Tigers in the senior men category while Lilanda Dynamos were white-washed by Kasisi Dynamites 32-11, with Kamwala Stars proving too much for Misisi Rangers whom they walloped 34-8 in another match.
In the senior women category, ZNS Green Eagles avenged for the loss of their men team by beating OYDC Lusaka Tigers 30-6 while Lilanda succumbed to Kasisi via a 3-0 score line. Kamwala had a relatively easy game against Misisi whom they beat 11-6.
The AAG event was first staged in Congo Brazzaville in 1965 and this year’s golden jubilee event will also be hosted in the same country.