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Banda relishes Olympic record with Zambia

Zambia international Barbra Banda continued her superb breathtaking goalscoring form in Tokyo 2020 as she became the first woman in Olympic history to bag two hat tricks.

Zambia Women's National team captain, Barbra Banda made history by becoming the first African female football player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics games.
Zambia Women’s National team captain, Barbra Banda made history by becoming the first African female football player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics games.

The 21-year-old forward had emerged the first Zambian and African to score a hat trick at the Games following a treble in her side’s 10-3 humiliation against the Netherlands last Wednesday.

The Shanghai Shengli striker replicated the same effort against China moments after BIIK Kazygurt striker Rachael Kundananji inspired their comeback, but they were forced to a 4-4 draw on Saturday.

With six goals in two games, Banda has now broken multiple Olympic records and the elated Copper Queens captain has credited her feats to her teammates.

“I am very proud of myself and the team because without them I can’t score so I just want to say thank you to my teammates for the help that they are giving me,” said the former Logrono star.

“It’s good to make history when you have the opportunity so I just have to keep on working hard and break more history. I still have a long way to go, I just have to be disciplined because I am aiming to become the best footballer in the world,” she said.

Her second treble at the Miyagi Stadium now saw her become the first woman to score back-to-back hat-tricks at a single Olympic tournament.

Having taken her tally to six, she also became the all-time African Top Scorer at the Olympics in the women’s event, leapfrogging Nigeria’s Mercy Akide-Udoh with four goals (two goals each in 2000 and 2004) and also equalled the most goals scored in a single event, a record set by Canada striker Christine Sinclair in 2012.

The former Green Buffaloes star also equalled the most goals record scored by an African, including the men, levelling up with compatriot Kalusha Bwalya and Ghana’s Kwame Ayew, who both scored six in 1988 and 1992 respectively.

Zambia have now managed a point from two games against the Netherlands and China in Group F, but Banda is impressed by her side’s improvement, while she is upbeat about their chances against Brazil today.

“There is a lot of improvements from the first game (against Netherlands). What we wanted mostly (against China) is the win, but unfortunately settled for a draw.

“I like the team spirit that we have, we are working as a team and we are looking forward to the next game against Brazil, we still have hope and we have a strong feeling that we can do something in the next game.”

The Zambians will seek to wrap up their Group F campaign on high when they square up against the South American giants today. — Caf Online

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