Brian Mada Earns Zimbabwe’s Sole Addis Medal

Brian Mada has done it again. A silver in Southern African Championships last May, a gold at the Region 5 Games in December and now a silver from the African Junior Athletics Championships, The self-taught triple jumper who graduated from St Faith’s High in Rusape last year, Mada jumped 15,30 metres this evening (7 March 2015) in a packed stadium in Addis Ababa to bring home silver, Zimbabwe’s only medal for the nine man athletics team at the continent-wide championships.

Brian Mada
Brian Mada

Mada narrowly trailed the gold medalist, Hailthem Sebbat from Algeria, who won the competition with a 15,39 metres jump. Whereas the winner’s six jumps varied from 13,99 to 15,39 metres, four of Mada’s five jumps were between 15,24 and 15,30 metres. Coming off of a slight ankle injury sustained when he stepped in a hole at an uneven field last week, Mada’s win was bolstered by his determination to better his Region 5 jump. The shock of today’s triple jump competition was Morocco’s Mohchine Khoua who qualified for the championships with an astounding 17,10 jump but today only managed 14,93 metres to come fourth in Addis.

Unfortunately, the rest of Team Zimbabwe did not fare so well, with none of the eight track contenders making it to a final. Nyasha Mutsetse, who recently joined Prince Edward School, ran 1:54:60 in his 800 race to place 10th in the heats and not advance to the finals. Shingirai Hlanguyo, who is based in South Africa, qualified for the semi-finals from his 200m heat with a race of 21,96, seconds, but then crashed out of the semi race last with a disappointing 22,31 time in the semi-final to place seventh out of eight runners.

Zimbabwe’s 4 x 100m relay team, composed of Tinotenda Matiyenga, Tafadzwa Munyawarara,Maxen Ncube and Hlanguyo faced stiff competition. Team Zimbabwe finished dead last out of ten teams in the two qualifying heats with a total time of 42,49 seconds, compared to Nigeria’s gold medal team who finished the same heat in an impressive 40,52 seconds.

Hurdler Elvis Makava finished with a disappointing last place in the 110m hurdles on this last day of competition with a time of 15,76 seconds, over two seconds behind the first finisher in his heat.

On a day that Zimbabweans didn’t have much to celebrate about given results in cricket and tennis, congratulatory messages quickly flooded social media.