Zambrano becomes the first-ever Colombian medallist at an Olympic track event with a silver medal in the 400 metres race at Tokyo 2020.
In a spectacular 400 metre final Zambrano took the second place after an impressive final sprint with 44.08, just behind Steven Gardiner from the Bahamas, who won the gold medal with 43.85 and ahead of Kirani James from Grenada with 44.19.
Zambrano had cruised through the series and the semifinal, where he recorded a new personal best of 43.93, the second-best time in the semifinals. The expectations were high, but Zambrano was still only an outsider for the podium. Based on previous performances, Gardiner was the big favourite, but also James and Michael Norman from the US were given a higher chance on silverware in Tokyo.
However, Zambrano started in lane 5, with James on the inside in lane 4, Michael Cherry, also from the US, in lane 6, Gardiner in lane 7 and Norman in 8. Zambrano started well, but saw James, the Olympic Champion from London 2012 overtake him quickly on the inside. Zambrano didn’t panic, kept a steady pace and came out of the last curve around fifth place. The 23-year-old from Maicao had a powerful sprint to the finish line, going past the Americans and James to claim a silver medal in the empty stadium.
Zambrano second Colombian athletics Olympic medal winner after Caterine Ibargüen
“This medal is for my country,” Zambrano said after the historic athletics medal on the track. It was the third athletics medal at the Olympic Games, after Caterine Ibargüen’s gold medal at the triple jump competition in Rio 2016 and her silver medal in London 2012. The leaping lady announced today that she put an end to her successful career after a disappointing performance in Tokyo, where she didn’t make it through the qualifications of the triple jump competition.