THREE Zambian athletes yesterday finished first in their respective 100 metres heats at the on-going AGN Series tournament in Pretoria, South Africa.
Chidamba Hazemba was the first Zambian runner to run to victory after he finished first with a time of 10.76 seconds.
Brian Kasinda commanded his heat timing 10.43 seconds while Titus Kafunda finished with a time record of 10.64 seconds.
The three athletes put up a strong performance to qualify to the finals and are scheduled to run tomorrow.
Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA) president Elias Mpondela expressed happiness with the performance of the trio.
Mpondela said it was satisfying to see all the 100 meters runners finish first in their respective heats.
He said the performance was a good build up to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil.
“This great performance is part of our Rio 2016 preparation plan. We want to ensure that the athletes are adequately prepared for the Olympics. Our target is not just to send competitors but athletes that will storm the medal bracket,” he said.
He said he was hopeful that the trio will put up a goodperfomance on Monday.
“The aim now is to reduce time. We are looking at the Olympics which boast of world class athletes from United States and Jamaica. I feel with more of these kind competitions, we will see a better performance at the Olympics,” he said. Mpondela commended the National Olympic Committee for facilitating the travel arrangements for the athletes.
“I thank the NOC for ensuring that the three athletes participated in this tournament. It is costly for us to send a team, but with the assistance from NOC, it is a success. I am glad that the assistance did not go to waste as the athletes have put up a good performance. We are working together with NOC on the plan of adequately preparing the athletes for Olympics,” he said.