BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
ZIMBABWE swimmer Peter Wetzlar managed to set a new national record and improve his personal best time in the men’s 100 freestyle event at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics in Japan after he finished fifth in his heat in a time of 50.31 yesterday.
Like his counterpart Donata Katai, in the women’s 100m backstroke category, Wetzlar failed to progress to the semifinals, but he won hearts and praise from Zimbabwean fans.
The 24-year-old finished the heat behind Khurshidjon Tursunov in fourth place, Nikolas Antoniou was third in 50.00 behind second placed Artur Barseghyan and Ho Ian Yentou who touched first in 49.49.
Wetzlar’s time was outside the top 16.
Head of Zimbabwe delegation, Frederick Ndlovu had set his hopes on Wetzlar saying his previous performance and also the good performance of rower Peter Purcell Gilpin and Donata Katai will help to boost his confidence.
The 24-year-old said he was pleased by his performance and also being given a chance to represent the country at such an event.
“I’m very pleased with my performance, the experience was incredible and to be able to represent my country at this kind of level it’s a dream come true. I’m also happy with my performance on setting my personal best time,” Wetlzar said.
“I definitely think that there are some areas I could have improved on and I was a little bit slow than I would want to but I came back very strong in my second 50, I was catching the pack.”
Wetzlar was ranked 42 out of 70.
He has made great achievements in his career as he represented Zimbabwe in a number of continental and international competitions.
The top 16 swimmers from the nine heats progressed to the semi-finals, that will be held today.
Meanwhile, golfer Scott Vincent and sprinter Ngoni Makusha are still preparing for their events set for tomorrow and Saturday, respectively.
Peter Purcell-Gilpin is also expected to compete tomorrow for his personal ranking in the rowing competition as he had already bowed out of the race for medals.
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