HomeLocal NewsRobbers pounce on Kirsty Coventry

Robbers pounce on Kirsty Coventry

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ZIMBABWE swimming icon Kirsty Coventry was attacked and robbed by unknown assailants at Harare International Airport after landing on her way from South Africa on Saturday.

REPORT BY STAFF REPORTER

Coventry, who was accompanied by family members, including her fiancé Tyrone Seaward when the attack took place, said she escaped with minor injuries.

Confirming the attack on her official Facebook account yesterday, Coventry said: “After landing in Harare on Saturday night, four to five men smashed the back window of our vehicle in an attempt to steal our luggage. My sister and I were sitting behind my fiancé and her husband, who was driving. My sister grabbed my two-year-old niece and five-year-old nephew and I threw myself into the back of the vehicle to try and hold onto our bags.”

The former world and Olympic champion said she was now on antiretroviral medication as a precautionary measure after she was cut by shattered glass which possibly also cut one of the assailants during the attack.

“Whilst wrestling with one of the men over our suitcases, I cut myself on the shattered glass. Unfortunately, so did one of the thieves.

“My fiancé and brother-in-law were able to jump out and chase after these guys, managing to catch one of them. The others got away with one bag. It was late at night and very scary, but thankfully we are all okay.

“I am now having to take antiretroviral medication. The ARVs may be unnecessary, but HIV is a serious problem in Africa and you can never be too careful. I understand how desperate these men must be to do this, but that does not make it right.

“So many people are struggling in their daily lives and instead of stealing from each other and creating terror for others, we should be working together to create jobs and helping each other,” wrote the swimming legend, who has won a medal of every colour at the Olympic Games.

When NewsDay visited the Coventry home in Harare last night, the top swimmer and her family were not there. However, a domestic worker confirmed the attack, but said Coventry’s injuries were minor.

Contacted for comment, acting Harare provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Tarirai Dube professed ignorance over the attack and referred questions to the Criminal Investigation Department, whose phones went unanswered until the time of going to print last night.

Harare International Airport has become a favourite hunting ground for robbers, targeting unsuspecting travellers. Many have lost their luggage and other valuables.

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