Samuel Matete, Zambia’s first track and field world champion, has said the East African country is not doing enough to develop its athletes.
The 52-year-old, who in his heydays competed mainly in 400 metres hurdles, expressed sadness that since he won the gold at the 1991 World Championships in Japan no Zambian athlete has won a medal at a major event.
Matete, who won 10 medals – six gold and four silver – in his career, is contesting to become president of the Zambia Athletics Association and runs an athletics academy in his name.
“We are talking about the global level. We are not talking about where you go to South Africa and compete with three countries and win a medal. No. Those are developmental medals,” he said.
“Ever since I left the podium, we have only seen one medal which is through Sydney [Siame] at the Africa Championships. So we are not doing enough. We have not done anything about athletics that we can talk about.”
Matete represented Zambia in the 400 m hurdles on four occasions at the Olympics between 1988 and 2000, and was the silver medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
His personal best of 47.10 seconds, achieved during the Weltklasse Zürich in 1991, is the current African record and ranks seventh on the all-time list.