HARARE – Two-time Paralympic gold medallist Elliot Mujaji’s hopes of securing a third medal went up in smoke after he finished fifth in the first round of the T46 100 metres dash at the London Paralympic Games yesterday.
The 40-year-old Mujaji, competing in the last Paralympic event of his career, was quick off the blocks but faded into insignificance after the 20-metre mark.
The Zvishavane-based athlete could only manage a slow time of 13.12 seconds, a considerable distance behind first placed Xu Zhao from China, who breezed through in 11.06 seconds to qualify for the second round.
Nigeria’s Frank Johnwill, who was just beaten to the finish line by 26-year-old Zhao, did enough to qualify into second round after finishing second in 11.12 seconds.
Mujaji, who had qualified for the Paralympics with a wild card, looked a pale shadow of his former self and did little to justify his hype after being relegated to mere spectator with a performance he would want to forget.
Things might have been worse for Mujaji had Australia’s Gabriel Cole, who finished sixth after pulling a muscle and Mali’s Mahamane Sacko, who was disqualified for a false start, not opened the door for Mujaji to finish fifth.
Mujaji’s elimination and that of Nyasha Mharakurwa earlier this week from the men’s singles wheelchair tennis event pulls the curtain down on Zimbabwe’s Paralympic campaign.