Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA) president Elias Mpondela says local athletes lack motivation and skill to compete at international competition such as the Olympics.
In an interview with Goal Diggers in Lusaka, Mr Mpondela also said Zambia’s terrain is not conducive for the development of an athlete’s career.
“There are many reasons why Zambians haven’t been seen on the international stage such as the London marathon, Boston marathon or the Olympics. First there is no motivation. And when I say motivation, I mean a lot of things including training facilities, wages and just someone to encourage the athletes to up their game. We don’t have such. We have been lacking these things for some time now. That is why you find that the last person who performed better at an athletics competition or the last time we produced real medals was 20 years ago or more. The rest have just been trying and it’s not good enough for the country. These are factors that those who are doing fine at competitions have,” he said.
“Then the terrain is another factor. When you look at those from East Africa, the ones who are performing better at international athletics competition, you will understand the terrain favours them a lot. They have a good terrain for training, and they ensure that they use that to their advantage. All those from Kenya or Ethiopia have those good terrains. It’s a different story when it comes to Zambia. However you may want to know we do have athletes who are promising. For example, we do have athletes who are doing fine in marathons even though they haven’t started going for international events. But we believe that when these athletes are groomed better, we may have a chance as a country to produce medals again on the international scene.”