By Freeman Makopa
Zimbabwe’s top junior swimmers impressed at the South Africa National Junior Championships held at Kings Park Pool where they clinched 15 medals, while breaking some records in the process.
Zimbabwe Aquatic Union president Mary Kloppers was impressed with the level of performance displayed by the youngsters.
“This tour was extremely successful. It is the top level age group gala in South Africa. Neighbouring countries also participated. To gain this many medals at this high level of competition is very encouraging. Not only do we applaud the swimmers themselves, but also their dedicated coaches who walked this path with them.
“These swimmers are still very young, which is good news for the future of swimming in Zimbabwe when we are looking at future Youth Olympians and African Youth Games.
Kloppers disclosed that eight Zimbabwean records were broken at the tournament.
“We are proud to announce that eight Zimbabwean records were broken, which is testimony to the improvement in the level of swimming in Zimbabwe at that level. Donata Katai is the most publicised having broken Kirsty Coventry’s record,” she said
Katai made an impressive swim which saw him grab two gold medals, while Denilson Cyprianos and Graham Hoal got two silver medals each.
At the same time Cory Werrett and Josh Covill earned a single silver medal each.
Katai led the team in the medals haul together with Cory Werrett, Paige VD, Westhuizen and Josh Covill, adding five bronzes in the medals basket. Team Zimbabwe also managed to scoop two relay medals in the 14 and under Boys, 4x50m free style as well as in the 14 and under mixed medley.