Commonwealth Games: Why Muzala Samukonga was taken away in wheelchair

Commonwealth Games: Why Muzala Samukonga was taken away in wheelchair

Zambia youngster Muzala Samukonga collapsed in a heap after the run of his life (so far) led a shock gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

Samukonga, 19, already pulled off one major upset when he claimed the top prize in the 400 metres at this year’s African Championships. But the strain and struggle it took to repeat the feat in Birmingham was palpable in his reaction following another gold.

 

The teenager’s legs gave out from underneath him barely a second after he crossed the finish line at Alexander Stadium.

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He then stumbled again after hopping a camera on his way to celebrating with those Zambia fans in attendance.

 

It was shortly after that Samukonga began throwing up and required medical attention before being escorted out in a wheelchair. He was in sufficient health to collect his medal, however, Zambia’s first gold at this year’s Games.

Commonwealth Games: Why Muzala Samukonga was taken away in wheelchair
Commonwealth Games: Why Muzala Samukonga was taken away in wheelchair

The result also marked the nation’s maiden 400-metre title at the Commonwealth Games, and from such an unexpected source. Samukonga appears a somewhat wild talent for the time being, but this latest success is proof of the potential he holds over this distance.

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England’s Matthew Hudson-Smith and Boniface Ontuga Mweresa of Kenya both appeared to have the Zambian firmly in their rear-view at the final bend. However, Samukonga seared through the last 100 metres or so at blistering speed, almost as though he’d run a different race to his peers.

 

Hudson-Smith finished 0.15 seconds off the winning time and settled for silver, while Jonathan Jones of Barbados collected the bronze. England’s runner-up acknowledged his prize after the race but added it was ‘not the colour he wanted.’

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