UNITED STATES-based Zimbabwean swimmer Sean Gunn says he was pleased with his performances after breaking two national records in the 100m and 200m freestyle races at the Arena Pro Swim Series Mesa which took place in Arizona,
United States, last weekend.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Gunn, who is on a swimming scholarship at the University of Kentucky, first set a new national record in the men’s 200m freestyle after touching the wall in 1:51:53 seconds.
The previous record of 1:54:70 seconds was set by former Zimbabwe Olympic swimmer Glen Walshaw at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
The 21-year-old swimmer, who has a strong chance of qualifying for next year’s Olympics, was not done as he recorded yet another milestone in the 100m freestyle with a time of 51:18 seconds.
Idensohn, also on a swimming scholarship at the University of Arizona, held the previous record time of 51:93 seconds which he set at last year’s Youth Olympic Games held in Nanjing, China.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Gunn whose national records are currently awaiting ratification by the Zimbabwe Aquatic Union (ZAU) said his results in Arizona had motivated him to train harder.
“I was really happy with my performances in Arizona,” he said.
“I’ve worked really hard this season with my new coach Chip Kline and I’m glad that things came together. I was happy, especially with my 100m and 200m freestyle.
“It feels great to have broken two national records. It has motivated me to train harder and swim faster. I think it would be really cool to set the records so they stand for a long time in the future.”
He added: “Hopefully I will be representing Zimbabwe at the World Championships and at the All-Africa Games.”
Gunn earned All-America honours in both the 50 and 100 freestyle at the Division II Men’s NCAA Championships last year while at Limestone College.
He was one of the four local swimmers who took part in the high-profile meet together with seven-time Olympic medalist Kirsty Coventry, Chad Idensohn and Tim Ferris.
Coventry, who is currently training at the SwimMAC Training Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, was the star of the show for the Zimbabwean contingent as she secured a World Championship place with a win in the 200m backstroke.