By Freeman Makopa
Zimbabwe’s junior swimmers put up an impressive show at the CANA Zone IV Swimming Championships held in Windhoek, Namibia, scooping 36 medals.
The Zimbabwean team brought home 13 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze medals to finish an overall fourth position on the medals tally.
The curtain came down on Wednesday for this year’s edition, with the South African team topping the medal table with a total of 102 medals across three disciplines (swimming, open water and water polo), followed closely by the host nation with 90 medals, Mauritius with 47 medals and Zimbabwe with 36 medals.
Swimming sensation Vhenekai Dhemba took the competition by storm, winning two gold medals to her tally, in the 100m freestyle in 1:06.62 and the 200m individual medley in 2:48.83, while 13-year-old Mkhuseli Mahobele gave an impressive performance in the 200m butterfly event finishing in a time of 2:49.18 just behind Mauritius’ Ines Gebert, who finished in 2:38.25 and got bronze.
Cory Werrett took home bronze and silver in the 50m freestyle in 26.76 and 26.68, respectively.
In the 200m butterfly category, another youngster, Quinton Tayali, grabbed silver in a tight competition slightly behind Seychelles’ Mathieu Bachmann.
The 100m butterfly gold was claimed by Ashley Makuwa (17) in 1:17.02.
Zimbabwe’s U18 water polo ladies team won the gold medal by defeating South Africa’s U16 team by 12 goals to 11 in the final penalty shoot out.
The game ended in a 7-7 draw after the full-time whistle and after the penalties also ended in a 4-4 draw; Zimbabwe then scored the golden goal to win the title.
Zimbabwe’s U18 team lost by 12 goals to 5 to South Africa’s U16 men’s team, which went on to win the championship title.
The South African U15 men’s development team proved to be stronger than the Zimbabwe team after they came out victorious in their final match of the tournament, winning by 12 goals to 3 to claim the gold medal.