Zim Finish 2nd At Cossasa Championships
ZIMBABWE’S dominance in the Confederation of Schools Sport Associations of Southern Africa athletics championships came to an end on Wednesday when they finished second in Francistown, Botswana.
Zimbabwe were the title-holders since 2015.
The regional competition, which targets Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 age-groups, started on Monday with five countries participating and Zimbabwe came second behind Namibia.
The other countries that participated were Lesotho, Zambia and hosts Botswana.
Zimbabwe had 73 medals in total – 24 gold, 32 silver and 17 bronze – while Namibia got 26 gold, 21 silver and 20 bronze.
Some of the outstanding athletes who picked gold for Zimbabwe include Brian Ndlovu, who set a new Cossasa record of 2.04m in high jump, while Dorothy Kavhumbura also set a new record in trippple jump with a 12.16m jump.
They are both earmarked for the African Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria in July.
National head in charge of athletics, Phillip Chikomwe, said Namibia and Botswana gave them a tough time this time around.
“There was stiff competition. Most of the countries like Botswana and Namibia had large contingents of athletes. But we narrowly lost because we were outplayed in relay events where Botswana took five of the six gold medals just when we needed two to be at par with Namibia. And we would have beaten them because we had more silver medals.
“Our athletes failed to break through in the last lap. They would start well and would be leading, the baton exchange was perfect. But we were outrun in the last lap by Botswana. Zambia also played a role because we expected to take the 800m events for both boys and girls but they took gold medals in both sections. I can say we have certain areas, which we need to work on so that we pick gold medals, that’s javelin, relay teams and discus, we need to work on that as well as shot put. That’s where Namibia dominated us on the field events.’’
Botswana were third with 79 medals – 20 gold, 24 silver and 35 bronze, followed by Zambia, who managed to pick 17 medals, including seven gold.