By Freeman Makopa
ZIMBABWE men’s water polo team made a disappointing run at the Fina Water Polo Challengers Cup held in Singapore recently, after finishing on ninth position out of 10.
Zimbabwe Aquatic Union president Mary Kloppers, who was the head of the team, believes the reason for their poor showing at the competition was due to ill-preparedness as well as lack of resources.
“We had less than two months to put a team together. Half of the team came from Harare, the other half was scattered across the world. Finances were also a big issue as we had to self-fund. We only got a small refund from Fina after the competition. We played five games, lost four and won one, placing us on ninth position out of 10.”
She added: “We had never played together as a team. All players were top players at school, but we have not had a men’s team in many years.
“Ages ranged from 19 to 38. However, we had to participate to get a foot into the competition. We will be better prepared next time,” she said.
The team gave it their all, but were no match to other teams which proved to be stronger.
Zimbabwe were thrashed 26-5 in their encounter with Singapore before again suffering a 18–2 defeat to the Philippines.
Zimbabwe also went down 17–6 to Ireland, while they were pummelled 22–8 by Malaysia.
The team, however, kept their heads up and went on to register their only win in the last match against Chinese Taipei, beating them 30-3.
Kloppers said the team’s participation signalled the country’s return to the sport and boosted the team’s moral despite the defeats.