Bhebhe hits mark as Poland's first black champion24 February 2011

Rising sports star Urszula Bhebhe has made her mark as Poland's first black athletics champion, a watershed in this nation which has a minuscule minority community.

Bhebhe won gold in the 60-metre hurdles at the weekend's Polish indoor championships with a time of 8.43 seconds, results showed.

The 19-year-old competes for AZS AWF, the team from Warsaw's sports science university.

Bhebhe's grandmother was Polish and married a Zimbabwean, moving to her husband's homeland where the athlete's mother was born, according to Polish media.

The family later returned from Africa to Europe.

“I was born here in Poland and I think in Polish,” Bhebhe was quoted as saying by the Polish newspaper Super Express.

At around 4,000 in a nation of 38 million, according to community groups, Poland's black population is tiny.

Over 96 percent of Poland's population consider themselves ethnically Polish, according to census data. At an estimated 150,000-500,0000, ethnic Germans form the largest minority group.

In another minority landmark in December, a Nigerian-born man who has lived in Poland for two decades became the country's first black member of parliament.