Sport

Zambia’s ‘Hope-less’ Olympic Medal Trip

As the world prepares for the London 2012 Games starting on July, 27, the Zambian flag will grace the opening ceremony.

That is potentially the only time the Zambian flag will probably grace the event as other nations hunt for medals.

There is very little, or nothing at all, to expect from the Zambian contingent heading for the Games in London.

Seven representatives will make up the traveling party for the Zambian team.

Of the seven, five met the standard qualifying cut but the rest head to the event on a mere wild-
card entry which is a discretionary invitation from the International Olympic Committee to member associations in the spirit of promoting participation at the event.

Although judoka Boas Munyonga, boxer Gilbert Choombe, and runners Prince Mumba, Gerald Phiri and Tony Wamulwa have qualified for the event, their individual record are a distant indication of the chances about the country’s aspiration for medals at the competition.

If medals are least expected from those like Munyonga, Choombe, Mumba, Phiri and Wamulwa, it will be asking too much from wild card entry swimmers Zane Jordan and Jade Howard.

More damning is Zambia’s performance at the 2010 Commonwealth Games where the country – virtually with the same athletes in the Olympic traveling contingent – returned home emptied handed. The Olympics are much more competitive than the Commonwealth Games.

The country’s only major medal hopeful at the Commonwealth was Hastings Bwalya, now a professional boxer trying out the million-dollar career, in Las Vegas in the United State of America.

In a rare but bold and honest opinion, the National Olympic Committee chief executive admits her entourage is going to London for a good holiday, if not a shopping spree.

“In all honesty, even with the excitement our team carries, I don’t think we’ll bring back any honours,” Hazel Kennedy, the general secretary of NOCZ, recently told the Times of Zambia.

However, bearing in mind that Zambia’s trip was not about medals but maybe the now tired scapegoat of ‘exposure’, Kennedy urges the athletes to fearless approach the games in the hope of tucking away some lucky medals.

That is the more reason a two weeks residential camping set for Glasgow in Scotland starting on July 9 has been set up to help boost the extremely slim chance of reaping a medal at the quadrennial competition.

Kennedy has announced that the seven-member team will be joined by a physiotherapist on July 9 and will depart London from Glasgow on July 23.

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