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Zim begins medal hunt at Olympics

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Following the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games last night, Zimbabwe athletes will get down to serious business today as they begin their hunt for medals.

Rowers Jamie Frazer Mckenzie and Micheen Thornycroft will today kick start their Olympic campaigns when they take to the water in the heats of the Olympic rowing regatta at Eton Dorney Lake in London.

Thornycroft was yesterday drawn in heat two of the womens singles sculls alongside Nataliya Mustafayeva from Azerbaijan, Camila Vargas Palomo from El Savador, Australias Kim Crow, Yariulvis Cobas from Cuba and South Korean Yeji Kim.

The five heats for the womens singles sculls will take place from 2:20pm to 3:15 hours (Zimbabwe time).

Thornycrofts main target will be to finish in the top four in her heat to qualify directly to the quarter-finals which will be held on Tuesday. All other boats compete in the repechage round, which offers a second chance to qualify for the quarter-finals.

In the mens singles sculls, Mckenzie was drawn in heat three alongside Aleksandar Aleksandrov from Azerbaijan, Swedens Lassi Karonen, Anderson Nocetti from Brazil, Mathias Raymond from Monaco and Paul Etia Ndoumbe from Cameroon.

Just like his counterpart in the womens category, Mckenzie (19) will have to finish in the top four to qualify directly to the quarter-finals.

Swimming star, Kirsty Coventry is expected to kick start her hunt for medals tomorrow afternoon (1200 hours) when she plunges into the pool in the 100m backstroke at the Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park in London.

Coventry is tipped to comfortably progress to the 100m backstroke semi-finals which will take place on Sunday evening.

On Monday, the 28-year-old seven-time Olympic medalist will return to action, this time in the 200m individual medley heats.

Coventry will have a chance of bagging her first medal during the 100m backstroke final later that day before returning to compete in the 200m individual medley semi-finals.

The final of the 200m individual medley will be held on Tuesday and Coventry will be hoping to be among the medals.

Coventry will have a rest day on Wednesday and only return to the pool on Thursday for the heats and semi-finals of the 200m backstroke where she is the reigning champion.

The 200m backstroke final will be held on Friday.
Female long-distance runner Sharon Tavengwa competes in the womens marathon on August 5 while triathlete Chris Felgate takes part in the mens triathlon at Londons Royal Parks, Hyde Park on August 7.

Male long-distance runners Cuthbert Nyasango and Wirimayi Juwao will be the last Zimbabweans in action in London when they line-up in the mens marathon on August 12.

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