VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka
RUNNER Kabange Mupopo on Wednesday night stumbled when it mattered most sprinting to a disappointing seventh position in the 400
metres final at the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championship in London.
And Sydney Siame could not make the 200m finals after finishing fourth in heat two clocking 20.54 seconds to end Zambia’s expectations for a medal.
It was meant to be a glorious moment but it ended in disappointment as Mupopo timed 51.15 seconds failing to beat her personal best of 50.22 seconds recorded on September 15, 2015 at the Congo-Brazzaville All-Africa Games.
She also failed to beat the 50.60 seconds clocked in the semi-finals and 51.09 seconds timed in the first round in London.
Mupopo reached the semi-finals at the World Championship in Beijing in 2015.
United States of America sprinter Phyllis Francis grabbed gold after setting a new personal best of 49.92 seconds while Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser piped United States of America’s Allyson Felix to silver clocking 50.06 seconds.
Felix, who was gunning for her 10th world title, timed 50.08 seconds and was disappointed but the bronze was her 14th World Championships medal.
Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who was leading with 15 metres before the finishing line, suffered an injury allowing Francis to overtake her.
Miller-Uibo timed 50.49 seconds, 27 clear of fifth-placed Jamaica’s Sherida Jackson while Stephenie Ann McPherson, who clocked 50.86 seconds, finished sixth.
Jamaican Novleen Williams-Mills finished last with 51.48 seconds.
In the 200m men’s category, Siame once again failed to go past the semi-finals finishing behind winner Jereem Richards and second-placed Abdul Hakim Sani Brown.
Richards and Brown posted 20.14 seconds and 20.43 seconds respectively.
Jamaican sprinter Johan Blake also failed to qualify for the finals after finishing third with 20.52 seconds.
Siame reached the semi-finals in Beijing two years ago.