Zimbabwe’s swimming team that took part at the Cana Zone IV Swimming Championships held in Lilongwe, Malawi, lived up to expectations after scooping 23 medals.
By Freeman Makopa
Twenty-three swimmers represented Zimbabwe at the event that featured 14 African countries, including Zambia, Mauritius, Kenya, Malawi, Seychelles, Uganda, Angola, Madagascar, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique.
Saira Ramajani, Dylan Huang and Paul Mwitikeni were the tournament’s favourites, who managed to fly the country’s flag with a haul of medals to their names.
Dylan Huang (14) walked away with gold in the boys’ 13-14 age group 100m freestyle after coming first in a time of 55.48 seconds.
Speaking to NewsDay Sport just after arriving home, team coach Mairead Goncalves expressed satisfaction over the team’s performance at the event.
“It was a very well-organised gala and I want to take this opportunity to hail the team for staging a sterling performance,” she said.
“We went with a total of 23 athletes who managed to fly the country’s flag high by snatching eight gold, nine silver and six bronze .The team battled it out in the 12 and under,14 and under, under 15 and open categories.”
Zimbabwe Aquatic Union president Marry Kloppers said Zimbabwe and South Africa sent development teams, while the other nations had full-strength
“Zimbabwe and South Africa sent development teams, whereas Zambia sent full strength. We are extremely happy with our swimmers. This result shows that we have good depth in our system. I am quite satisfied with the level of our swimming in the region,” she said.
Zambia came first, with Zimbabwe coming second, while South Africa dfinished third and Mauritius fourth.
Namibia is set to host the 17th Cana Zone IV Championships next year.
The 17th edition of the championships is set to be a bigger event, with swimming, water polo and open water events being held at the same time.