Zimbabwean high jump sensation Kudakwashe Chadenga set a new national record for the third time in a space of 11 months on his way to winning the high jump title on the first day of the Corky Classic at the Texas Tech University campus in the US on Friday.
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The 20-year-old former Prince Edward School progidy cleared the bar at an incredible height of 2.26m which equalled the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) record, to finish well clear of the rest of the field.
Chadenga, who is on an athletic scholarship at South Plains College in Texas, where he is now a sophomore (a second-year university student) also bettered his previous national high jump record of 2.22m which he set n February last year.
He first made history by being the first Zimbabwean to clear the 2.20m mark in the high jump to break the then long standing high jump national record of 2.16m at the Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station, Texas last February.
Meanwhile Randy Kelly of Northwestern State University finished a distant second at the Corky Classic on Friday at 2.09m while Wyatt Thiel JR of Oklahoma Christian was in third position at 2.07m.
Chadenga’s winning height was shy of the Paris 2024 Olympics qualifying mark of 2.32 but he will be confident of reaching the target as the season progresses.
His exploits on Friday came in his first meet of the season since winning the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships title in Hutchinson, Kansas in May to complete a clean sweep of both the NJCAA indoor and outdoor titles.
Kudakwashe Chadenga, 2.26m. New Zimbabwe National record 🇿🇼, tied the All time USA National Junior college record. @ZimbabweSrc @ZBCNewsonline @KirstyCoventry @HeraldZimbabwe @SundayMailZim @jumpers_world pic.twitter.com/dCXvzCCdf2
— Munyaradzi Chadenga 🇿🇼🦓 (@skychads) January 14, 2023