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Champs Memories!

first_imgIt was in the spring of 1978 that for the first time in the country’s history, a Jamaican schoolboy leapt over seven feet.Thousands discarded abiding love for schools nurtured in the competitive atmosphere that characterised Champs.Track and field enthusiasts were keen to partake in a delectable piece of history that was tauntingly placed before them.Former Kingston College (KC) high jumper Desmond “Zele” Morris, might have been the only athlete at Champs to silence the entire stadium in one soaring swoop.No one dared to cheer when he lifted his lanky frame beyond seven feet, a new feat at the great games.Zele was a tall, lanky, hurdler and sprinter.A gazelle in his own right, but Zele was not quite as quick over the hurdles as his teammate, Kenneth ‘Sonny’ Gray.Nor was he as fast in the sprints as Marlon Pottinger.But there were no two ways about it – Zele was the supreme high jumper, constantly rising to new levels since the early 1970s.So it was that the lanky lad, already the holder of the classes three and two long jump records, was expected to soar to unprecedented heights in 1979.The record for Class One high jump 37 years ago was in the region of 6′ 10″ when he lounged for the tackle.It was twilight under the glare of the National Stadium lights.Zele had broken the old mark and was approaching the hitherto unbelievable height of seven feet.The suspense was heightened by Zele’s need to don his purple and white sweat suit as if some magic was concealed in its secret compartment.Thousands waited on him.Zele jumped.Again.The painstaking process was repeated.Finally, Zele was challenged to clear the unbelievable height.He did and even went a quarter of an inch above the “unreachable” mark.The packed stadium, awe saluted by applauding.Like many had done before, another Jamaican had created history to make the Boys and Girls’ Championships only the greatest of its kind on the globe.last_img read more

AFC send Zapata on leave, cite security reason

first_img0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Zapata Rodolfo. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – AFC Leopards have sent their Argentine head coach Rodolfo Zapata on leave, citing concerns over his security following fan apathy since their SportPesa Shield semi-final loss to Sofapaka last Sunday.Ingwe Organizing Secretary Timothy Lilumbi told Capital Sport the club took the decision after growing concerns over his safety with a number of fans accosting him after the Sofapaka and Tusker matches last Wednesday. “We have not sacked the coach. What has happened is that we have sent him on leave because of the concern over his security. There was trouble in the Sofapaka match and Tusker as well on Wednesday and as a club we are concerned about him. If anything happens to him, we will be in so much trouble,” Lilumbi said.He added; “An employer can always grant an employee leave and that is what has happened. He will return to the club during pre-season for the 2019 campaign.”However, Secretary General Oscar Igaida gave a contrasting statement, saying the coach was headed to the United States on personal business, further putting into doubt whether or not the tactician will still be in charge of the team.AFC Leopards head coach Radolfo Zapata passes instructions to his players at half time during their Hull City Challenge match against Gor Mahia at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on May 1, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“Tom Juma will be in charge for the final two games of the season. The coach has been granted leave to travel to the US for some personal business and he will be back before the new season. We have not sacked him,” Igaida said in a response to Capital Sport.Efforts to reach the Argentine coach who joined Leopards in mid-season from Botswana side Gaborone United were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.Zapata took over from Dennis Kitambi who had been handed the role following the sacking of Robert Matano early in the season.On whether Zapata will still be in charge of the team in the new season, Lilumbi said; “I cannot say conclusively anything as at now. That will still pend on any recommendations the Executive Committee will have.”Zapata on Wednesday told Capital Sport that he was not ready to quit the club but added that he would only do so if the club’s top hierarchy would seem it fit for him to leave.AFC Leopards head coach Rudolf Zapata. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA“I will have a meeting with the Executive Committee to analyze the season and see what we need to do in the team and what’s better for us. If they think the coach is the problem then, it’s okay, I will go, but I think the problem is much deeper,” the tactician said.AFC’s 1-0 loss at the hands of Sofapaka in the Shield semis increased pressure on the tactician and Wednesday’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Tusker FC increased the calls for the tactician to call it quits or the club to fire him.A section of fans who had attended the Wednesday afternoon tie in Machakos publicly told the coach on his face to quit the club with a section of the club’s backroom staff coincidentally joining the call.AFC has been a notorious club known to hire and fore coaches at will and if Zapata’s term comes to an end, it will only be a chapter of the already best-selling book at AFC, anchored in firing of their tacticians.Though regarded as one of the biggest clubs in the country, the club has not won the Kenyan Premier League title in the last 20 years and continuously remain in the shadow of arch rivals Gor Mahia who just this season picked their 17th KPL diadem.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more