ZAMBIAN runners were yesterday ejected from the on-going International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in China after a poor performance in their respective races.
Female 400m runner Kabange Mupopo failed to qualify for the finals after she finished last in heat three of the semi-finals clocking 51.93 seconds. She again failed to beat her personal best time of 50.86s.
Mupopo, who started at a fast pace, failed to maintain speed against experienced Allyson Felix of United States and lost breath in the last 200 metres of the race.
Felix finished first with a time record of 49.89s, following behind were Jamaicans Sherika Jackson clocking 50.03s and Novelene Williams-Mills with 50.47s.
Meanwhile, 17- year- old Sydney Siame who was racing against world-record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica in 200m preliminary round finished second last clocking 21.08s.
The junior athlete who was given a wild card to participate in the 200m race failed to impress and was ruled out of the finals.
Siame in lane eight started on a high note but failed to keep up the pace in the last 100m of the race.
Bolt eased up with 50 metres to go after he came off the bend ahead of the field in his bid to retain his world sprint double, clocking 20.28 seconds.
Siame was using the race as a build-up ahead of the All-Africa Games tournament next month in Congo-Brazzaville.
Meanwhile, Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA) international relations and communications manager Davison Mung’ambata said the association was proud of the two young athletes’ performance as it took five to seven years to compete at a world level and win a medal.
Mung’ambata said both athletes were identified two years ago and for them to reach the IAAF World Championships was incredible.
“We are proud of Mupopo and Siame. Mupopo qualified from home and was picked to fulfil gender balance as per IAAF requirement. With pledged support from Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), we will continue to invest in the two athletes and others under the carding system. The future is very bright for our athletes,” he said.