BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
Zimbabwe’s fast-rising junior swimmer Mikayla Makwabarara continues to shine in the pool, breaking records and winning races in the process.
Makwabarara’s club coach Malcolm Cocks told NewsDay Sport that the fact that she breaks records deserves a lot of respect, adding that their goal was to prepare her for tough competitions.
“She broke a Kirsty Coventry record which had been standing for 25 years. It was for 12 year old girls 100 freestyle, Kirsty’s time was 1 minute 4.34 seconds; Mikayla’s new time was 1 minute 3.97 seconds.
“We take things a step at a time. Of course any Kirsty record of such long standing which is beaten deserves a lot of respect, she also has achieved several SAJN qualifying times this season. SA Junior Nationals is the top age group competition in South Africa. This competition is due to take place in April 2021 in Durban, so our goal is to prepare and do well in this where she will be swimming against the best of her age. Also we hope to improve at our Zimbabwe Nationals which take place in Harare starting February 18, 2021,” he said.
Cocks said Makwabarara acts on advices given to her and even trains hard which makes her different from her local peers
“At the recently held Harare Champs Mikayla achieved PBs in all her swims, which were in all strokes and won eight Individual Gold medals, three Silvers and one Bronze. She also won top age group (12 years) girl swimmer.
“I would say her main attributes which distinguish her from her peers locally are: She attends training regularly, trains hard, always listens and acts on advice from her coach, believes in herself and the program, but probably above all has this great desire not to be beaten when competing. We train out of Innovate High Performance Centre, Emerald Hill.”
He said although she has a long way to go in her career yet to get anywhere near being “a Kirsty, but they are hopeful she will continue improving to try and get nearer her swimming pool idol.
Makwabarara set the bar high when she broke a long-standing 100m freestyle record which was set by swimming icon, Kirsty Coventry, at the Harare Amateur Swimming Senior Championships.
The Bishopslea Junior School student swam 1min 03.97s to break the 100m freestyle record of 1min 04.34s set by Coventry in 1995 in the 12-years-old age group.