At the Tokyo Olympics, the women’s soccer competition is in full swing, and some players have already made an impression. Barbra Banda, a Zambian professional soccer star, made history when she became the first woman to achieve multiple hat tricks in a single Olympic event. The Zambian captain became the first African woman to achieve a hat trick in Olympic history, and she now owns the women’s record for most Olympic goals scored by an African.
The Zambian striker scored her second hat-trick in as many games as Zambia drew 4-4 with China in a tense Tokyo 2020 match, while the United States beat New Zealand 6-1.
Banda solidified her reputation as the competition’s breakthrough star with another hat-trick in Group F, after hitting a treble in Zambia’s 10-3 thrashing of the Netherlands.
Banda was a player who went mostly unnoticed until her debut at the Olympic Games this summer. The 21-year-old is a natural striker who began her professional career with Logrono in Spain in 2018, where she scored 16 goals in 28 games. Last year, she made a significant professional move by joining Shanghai Shengli of the Chinese Super League.
Banda has only played for her country five times as a senior, but during that time she has scored nine goals.
The women’s national team of Zambia has qualified for the Games for the first time. Brazil, China, and the Netherlands were the Copper Queens’ opponents in Group F. Even though Zambia’s Olympic debut ended in a humiliating 10-3 loss, the three goals were a milestone event for the country.
Banda was the first woman to score an Olympic goal for her country, and she added two more for good measure. She became the first African woman to score three goals in an Olympic women’s football competition with her hat-trick.
Zambia’s second encounter against China ended in a 2-2 draw after an eight-goal thriller, with both teams earning a valuable point. Banda scored three of her team’s four goals, cementing her place in history for the second time.
Banda is the first female soccer player in Olympic history to score two hat-tricks in two games, thanks to her treble against China. Banda is the tournament’s joint-highest scorer with six goals in two games, along with Vivianne Miedema of the Netherlands and ahead of Sam Kerr of Australia.
With six goals so far in the Tokyo Games, Banda has tied Christine Sinclair of Canada for the most goals scored in a tournament at the 2012 London Games.
Banda, 21, is having a breakout season, and she has a chance to finish top goal scorer if she can add to her total against the Brazilians this week in Saitama, despite Zambia’s chances of missing out on a knockout phase spot.
Banda has stated that her primary goal is to make history in the sport and to become the best player on the planet.