ZIMBABWEAN sprinter Gabriel Mvumvure has enjoyed an impressive start to the indoor athletics season in the United States, with two victories in as many weeks, as he gears to push for qualification to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 27-year-old US-based former Africa junior champion was in brilliant form at the weekend, as he romped to victory in the 60m dash at the LSU Twilight Indoor Track and Field Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Friday evening.
Mvumvure sprinted to victory, clocking a season-best time of 6.64 seconds to take the victory ahead of Englishman Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (6.65) and American Donte Jackson (6.66).
Zambian ace, Gerald Phiri, who qualified for the semi-finals of the 100 metres at the 2012 London Olympics, finished in fourth position, in a time of 6.67 seconds while Tremayne Acy of the US (6.75) was fifth.
Earlier, Mvumvure had eased through the heats in a time of 6.68 seconds.
Friday’s victory came on the back of another impressive performance by Mvumvure, who beat triple Olympic silver medallist, Richard Thompson on his way to victory at the LSU Performance Meet, which was also held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Mvumvure, one of two Zimbabwean sprinters on the Olympic Solidarity scholarship programme for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, clocked 6.69 to beat Thompson from Trinidad and Tobago (6.74) and get his season off to a superb start.
The talented athlete is making a comeback after being sidelined for the better part of last year due to a career threatening illness.
The former Churchill High School and Louisiana State University student was diagnosed with hypertension and a kidney ailment, which saw him miss out on last year’s African Games and the IAAF World Championships.
In 2013 Mvumvure became only the second Zimbabwean after Ngonidzashe Makusha to break the 10 second barrier in the 100m after clocking 9.98 in Montverde, US.
However injuries and illness have hampered his progress, with his last appearance at a major athletics competition coming being 2014 at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Poland.
Despite narrowly missing out on a place in the final in Poland, Mvumvure’s time 6,60secs in the semifinal equalled the previous national 60m dash record, set by Makusha in 2009.