Track and Field's Lewis Banda to Compete at Olympic Games for Zimbabwe
July 23, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. - Lewis Banda, a member of the Arizona State track and field team, will represent his home nation of Zimbabwe at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee announced recently. The five-time All-America selection and four-time conference champion, Banda is one of five men to represent the African nation in the sport of track and field and one of just 11 total athletes to compete in the Games for Zimbabwe.
Banda earned a berth into the Summer Olympiad after strong performances at the African Championships held in Brazzaville, Congo, July 14-18. At the continental championship meet, the sprinter just missed meddling in the 200m dash, placing fourth with a time of 21.08 in the finals after finishing second in both his qualifying and semifinal round runs. Banda also ran the second leg of the 4x400m relay that clocked a 3:02.38 to win the gold medal, the first gold for the men at the African meet. He was joined in the race by Young Talkmore Nyongani, Lloyd Zvasiya and Temba Nunbe.
In his two years with the Sun Devils, Banda has been one of the leaders of the men sprinters, collecting four conference titles and earning five Top 8 finishes in NCAA meets. In the Pac-10, Banda has won the past two 400m dash titles, winning the 2004 title in a blazing 44.58 which is the conference meet record and the second-fastest in school history. He also anchored the 4x100m relay to conference and regional gold before taking second at the NCAA meet. In his freshman season, he joined the 4x400m relay team to win the conference title. At the 2004 NCAA Championships, held in June, Banda finished fourth in the nation in the 400m dash and helped the 4x100m relay (second) and 4x400m relay (fourth) to Top 5 finishes and All-American accolades.