Perhaps Zambia has just found itself a replacement of Kabange Mupopo in Racheal Kundananji who is a talented soccer star and has just minted Gold in 1,500 metres women final race with a time of 4 minutes, 25 seconds and 11 milliseconds at the on-going Region 5 Youth Games 2018 in Botswana’s capital Gaborone.
South Africa’s Carmie Prinsloo got Bronze with a time of 4 minutes, 26 seconds and 46 milliseconds respectively.
Like most female football national team players in the country, Kundananji juggles both football and athletics and based on the results recorded, the Green Buffaloes golden lady is doing just fine. Her record ranges from hat tricks in football to national records in athletics and has conquered the entire Southern region.
While Mupopo picked up athletics in the spring of 2014, running 55.44 for 400 metres in her first official meeting, Kundananji opted for a different race admitting that she does not want people to think that she is trying to fill Mupopo’s shoes which she described as too big.
She said this in an interview with Goal Diggers! facilitated by Zambia Association of Amateur Athletics (ZAAA) officials in Gaborone.
“I chose a different race because I do not want people to think that I’m trying to fill Kabange’s shoes and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to. And I also weighed myself and discovered that I was more comfortable in 1500m than any other race. There is a bit of breathing in 1500m unlike 800m where people just take off with high speed,” she said.
The young lad also expressed her happiness in having minted gold and did not fall short of mentioning her first love – football.
“I was so happy when I finished first and looked at my time. It was a dream come true and I will live to remember this day. This does not mean that I have done away with football. Football is my first love and just like Kabange, my passion lies in it. If I am able to do both with excellence, well and good,” said Kundananji.
Kundananji has joined a number of Zambian sportsmen and women that have minted medals in the youth games.