AFTER racking up medals on the international arena recently, Zimbabwe’s top male rower Stephen Cox has now shifted his attention to try and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
By Freeman Makopa
The 23-year-old rower, who is training on an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship in England, recently won gold in the A Final at the Ghent International Regatta in Belgium in the men’s single scull event and also achieved a third place in the A Final at the English Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake.
Both of these regattas are prestigious rowing events on the international rowing circuit, attracting top international rowers.
“My attention is now shifted to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics and I’m confident given the achievements that I have so far and I have been participating at various international regattas.
“It’s not easy to scoop gold but its takes a lot of hard work and endurance, So I’m ready to take a huge step and represent my country at the international platform if I qualify,” he said
At the English Metropolitan Regatta, Cox achieved his best personal performance time so far, clocking 07mins 02 seconds, over an Olympic race distance of 2 000 metres.
He and his fellow Zimbabwean rower Peter Purcell-Gilpin, who has just returned from injury, are currently training together at Leander, one of the top international rowing clubs in the world.
The duo wants to try and qualify to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta in England next month, in the double scull event.
Henley is one of the top international rowing regattas in the world after the Olympics, which usually attracts top rowers the world can offer.
Rowing Association of Zimbabwe (RAZ) president Andrew Lorimer said they are happy with the achievements by the Zimbabweans on the international stage.
He said they are working hard to continue identifying rowers that can help keep the Zimbabwe flag high.
“We are working hard to develop rowing in Zimbabwe. At a fun development regatta just held at Mazowe Dam, to introduce new rowers to the sport of rowing, the 65 experienced and new rowers taking part in the regatta were split into rowing crews and each given a name of one of the countries taking part in the 2018 Soccer World Cup.
“Crews were made up so that three experienced rowers could row together with two new rowers to help develop their confidence and rowing skills.
Senegal narrowly beat Germany to the finish line in the finals followed by Australia, Nigeria, and France in the top five. Could this be an indicator for the final results for the 2018 Soccer World Cup,” Lorimer said
At least 45 athletes and coaches from South Africa, Lesotho, Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi, Zambia and took part in a four day rowing training camp at Mazowe Dam.
Zimbabwe is set to host an international regatta which will act as a warm up for rowing competition at the Africa Youth Games being held in Algeria from July 19-22.