AFRICAN 400m women champion Kabange Mupopo has won a gold medal at the on-going Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) senior champions in Durban South Africa.
Mupopo, who is one of Zambia’s already qualified athletes going to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics produced a scintillating performance in the final and left her rivals in a distance to claim the gold.
Mupopo took the gold medal after timing 51.6 seconds, her second best time this year, to leave Kenyan Margaret Nyairera in distant second with a time 52.2 seconds.
Nigerian Okon- Patience George was third and completed the podium finish with a time of 52.3 seconds.
This was sweet victory for the Lusaka runner as she was beaten by the Kenyan in the semi-final with the smallest of time margins as both were on 52.2 seconds but Mupopo raised her performance in the final to make the difference.
Kabange Mupopo was born on 21st September 1992 and is both a sprinter and football player, who won Gold in the African games in September 2015.
Mupopo started playing association football as an 11-year-old, inspired by her brother. She played for Green Buffaloes F.C. and the Zambia women’s national football team; as team captain, she led Zambia to the 2014 African Women’s Championship tournament, where they were eliminated in the group stage.
Mupopo picked up athletics in the spring of 2014, running 53.44 for 400 metres in her first official meeting.
She represented Zambia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where she ran 53.09 and was eliminated in the semi-finals. In August, she took silver in 51.21 at the African Championships in Marrakech, breaking the Zambian record; she lost the gold to Nigeria’s Folashade Abugan, who ran the same time, in a photo-finish.
Mupopo qualified to represent Africa at the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup, also in Marrakech, where she placed fourth and improved her national record to 50.87. She received an 18-month athletics scholarship from the Zambian Olympic Committee in 2015, leading her to concentrate on athletics and not football.
She debuted in the IAAF Diamond League in Doha in May 2015, placing seventh in 51.88 and in July 2015 she ran 50.86 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, improving her national record by one-hundredth of a second.
She was selected for the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.