SPRINTER Sydney Siame on Wednesday evening qualified to the 200 metres race finals at the on-going 11th All-Africa Games (AAG) tournament in Congo Brazzaville.
Siame put up a spirited fight to finish second in his semi-finals heat clocking 20.91 seconds.
The 17-year old who was disqualified for a false start in the 100 metres race was targeting a medal in last night’s final hurdle.
Siame was expected to face tough competition from Nigeria’s duo of Metu Obinna who timed 20.55 seconds and Oduduru Divine who clocked 20.51 seconds.
Lumeka Katundu failed to make it to the 200 meters women finals after finishing fourth in heat two in the semis.
According to the tournament technical committee Zambia were culprits in the final but Mauritius was mistakenly punished before the race was reviewed.
Nigeria’s disqualification was upheld while Mauritius who finished last in the race had been set free.
Meanwhile, national team coach Douglas Kalembo said he was happy that Siame had fought hard to reach the finals. “I am happy with his performance in this race especially that he has reduced time. It’s not going to be an easy final as he faces tough competition from the Nigerians,” he said.
He expressed happiness that all the runners were at least getting close to the medal bracket and setting new personal best times.
“Time is important in athletics. I am happy that all the runners are finishing with competitive time. The exposure has really helped the young athletes. Producing a gold medalist takes over five years,” he said.