From ELIAS CHIPEPO In Glasgow, Scotland –
AS the curtains on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are drawn here tomorrow, Team Zambia general manager, Geoffrey Chawinga has bemoaned the nation’s failure to mint more than two medals at the 11-day sports spectacle.
Zambia has so far managed to win bronze in judo through Boas Munyonga with the other medal coming through Ben Muziyo in boxing while the other slimmest chance was in athletics where the men were expected to compete in the 4×400 metres last night.
Chawinga said in an interview in Glasgow that the Zambian contingent was expectant of winning many medals going by the pre-camping the four sport disciplines had undergone ahead of the ‘Club’ Games.
The boxers, judokas and badminton players left Zambia early for a three-week pre-training camp in Glasgow while the runners shaped up in Germany with some athletes taking part in the IAAF Diamond League events.
“We were very expectant from our athletes owing to the pre-camping they undertook before the Games. At least we managed a medal in judo and boxer Muziyo has reached the semi finals but we expected a lot from them,” Chawinga, who is also National Olympic Committee (NOC) board member, said.
He, however, commended athletes for putting in their best during the Glasgow Games but that there was need for sports associations to work closely with NOC to chart the way forward.
Chawinga said there was need for a new crop of athletes to be put in place ahead of future competitions especially that Zambia was not short of talent.
He called on associations to strengthen and take their talent identification programme seriously if Zambia was to produce athletes to win medals from the upcoming international events.
Meanwhile, the squash and badminton teams closed their campaign on a disappointing note, exiting the 20th Commonwealth Games without any silverware.
In squash, Kelvin ‘Kelvinator’ Ndhlovu and Mwinga Lengwe’s bid to win the doubles title ended in defeat in the pre-quarter final stage after losing to hosts, Scotland.
Ndhlovu and Lengwe lost 2-0 with identical scores of 11-4, 11-4, to Alan Clyne and Harry Leitch to bow out of the competition.
In the qualifying stage, Ndhlovu and Lengwe recorded a 2-0 win over Jason Doyle and Jules Snagg of Saint Vincent and Grenadines, scoring 11-3, 11-8 but lost the second game 2-0 to the English pair of Selby Darly and Willstop James.
Lengwe and Ndhlovu, however, recovered well to win the third game, beating Brindle Anthony and Navas Christian of Gibraltar 2-0 (11-9,11-3) to sail through to the round of 16.
The mixed doubles event saw Manda Chilambwe and Sharon Chimfwembe losing to Australia’s Grinham Rachael and Palmer David 11-2, 11-1.
Chilambwe and Chimfwembe suffered another defeat to the pair of Marlene West and Stafford Cameroon of Cayman Islands, losing by the identical scorelines of 11-2, 11-4.
The Zambia ‘couple’ started the mixed doubles campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Northern Ireland’s pair of Perry Madeline and Michael Graig with set scores of 11-9, 6-11, 11-6.
In table tennis, Friday Ng’andu and Simasiku Kalaluka reached the second round of the men’s doubles before suffering defeat at the hands of India.
Ng’andu and Kalaluka were eliminated by Achanta Sharath and Arputharu Amalraj of India 11-6, 11-4, 11-3.
In the preliminary round, Ng’andu and Kalaluka eliminated the duo of David Lol and Geoffrey Lol of Papua New Guinea winning 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 before they were eliminated in the second round.