Bronze medal delight for Kamangirira at 13th African Games

US-born hurdler sets sights on memorable double

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Zimbabwean track and field star Ashley Kamangirira is targeting what would be a historic double medal haul at the African Games after clinching a bronze medal in the women’s 100m hurdles in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday night.

The US-born ace, who is the daughter of former Zimbabwe sprinter Felix Kamangirira clinched the Southern African nation’s first athletics medal of the ongoing African Games after finishing third in the women’s 100m hurdles final in a time of 13.59s.

Her time set another new national record in the event having earlier in the semifinals bettered Tamla Pietersen’s previous national record of 14.49s set in August 2008.

The women’s 100m hurdles was won by Nigeria’s world Record holder Tobi Amusan, who clocked a time of 12.89s to clinch the gold medal at the 13th African Games.

Madagascar’s Sidonie Fiadanantsoa clinched the silver medal in 13.19s.

It was a remarkable achievement for 26-year-old Kamangirira as she realised one of her goals to win a medal for the country.

An elated Kamangirira expressed her delight at winning a medal in a post on social media on Thursday morning.

“Glory be to God. Despite not having the best start in the prelims, I finished strong and earned my spot into the final round.

I am so thankful that I was able to comeback and win a bronze medal for Team Zimbabwe!”

“Congratulations to all of my competitors, and THANK YOU ALL for your unwavering support!! We aren’t finished yet. NEXT UP: 400mh Preliminary Rounds! ”

After claiming a bronze medal in the 100m hurdles, Kamangirira is now targeting what would be a memorable double by claiming another medal in the 400m hurdles, whose preliminary rounds are scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Although she was born in the US, the gifted sprint hurdler traces her roots to Zimbabwe through her father Felix Kamaringira, a former national team sprinter, who specialised in the 200m and 400m sprints during his career in the 90s.

Her American mother Jan Miller also participated in athletics at the University of Idaho, where she met Kamaringira during his time at the institution on an athletic scholarship.

And coming from a sporting family where both her mom and dad were elite athletes, it was only natural that Miller would follow in their footsteps.

Kamangirira was ranked among the top junior hurdlers in the US and she was on course to represent her country of birth at the World Athletics Junior Championships in 2014, but was unable to compete at the US trials that year due to financial reasons.

Now she is realising her dream with Zimbabwe and on course for a medal double at the African Games and possible qualification for the Paris Olympic Games.

 

 

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