By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Zimbabwe Aquatics is already eyeing the 2024 Paris Olympics following commendable performances by two swimmers who represented the country at Tokyo, Japan 2020.
Peter Wetzlar and female teenage prodigy Donata Katai are the two swimmers that were part of the Zimbabwe team that did duty in Japan.
Wetzlar (24) broke the Zimbabwean record in the men’s 100m freestyle event despite finishing fifth in his heat, storming home in 50:31 seconds and 42 out of 70 swimmers in the category.
On the other hand, 17-year-old Katai achieved a personal best time after winning her heat in 1:02:73 in the women’s 100m backstroke, but failed to make the semi-finals.
“We are very pleased with both Donata and Peter’s performances in Tokyo. It’s a huge stage and they were able to perform and swim personal bests even under that extreme pressure,” Zimbabwe Swimming chairperson Tracey Doorman told NewsDaySport.
“Obviously, now begins the build towards Paris 2024 as we begin the next cycle of qualification and they( Weztlar and Katai) along with other swimmers will be aiming to qualify,” Doorman added.
Swimming is looking to send a bigger pool of athletes to Paris in three years’ time after qualification for the Tokyo Olympics was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Golfer Scott Vincent, rower Peter Purcell-Gilpin and sprinter Ngoni Makusha completed the Zimbabwean team in Tokyo.
None of the Zimbabwean athletes were able to bag a medal in Japan.
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