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Zimbabwean swimmers in SA for trials

by Staff reporter
06 Apr 2021 at 06:43hrs | Views
PROMISING swimmer, Donata Katai, says she is motivated by the support she has been getting.  She left the country yesterday for the South Africa Olympic trials that get underway tomorrow in Port Elizabeth.

Donata is one of the three Zimbabwean swimmers who will be participating in the trials running until April 12.  The other two swimmers are Liam O'Hara, who is based in South Africa, and Paige van der Westhuizen.  

The three swimmers will be pushing for qualification for the Olympics.  "I think it's really motivating that people would believe in me. And, I think, just all the support I have received so far motivates me to see how long this journey is,'' said Katai.

"And, how well I can do with all the support I have been given."  

She will be competing in 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, 50m and 100m butterfly.  Katai has been on the rise in the past few years.  She noted it is important to be focused, as she goes into this event, taking into consideration she has not had many competitions, this season.  

"I think just keeping positive, and staying focused, and you know just going there not expecting to do most wondrous thing, just going there and trying my best, I think," Katai said.  

Zimbabwe Swimming chairperson, Tracey Doorman, said the selection for those taking part in the trials, was based on the FINA points.

"We were only allowed a limited number of athletes at the Olympic trials due to Covid restrictions and their selection was based on FINA points as stipulated by Swim South Africa," Doorman said.  

Apart from the trials, van der Westhuizen is also set to take part in the South Africa Senior Championships.  Other Zimbabwean swimmers competing in the Seniors Championships are Brett Jones, Quintin Tayali, Corey Werrett and Nomvula Mjimba, who will be competing under her South African club.  The first competition, for the South Africa Seniors Championships, is scheduled to run from today until April 12 in KZN.  

The second event is taking place from April 13 to 18 in Port Elizabeth.  Doorman said they were expecting their swimmers, in both the trials and the Seniors Championships, to give their best shot.  

"Despite lockdown, swimmers tried to maintain fitness and have been in heavy training since that was allowed a month ago.   

"Those swimmers based in South Africa are probably at an advantage as they didn't have the break in "formal" training in January and February.  We hope that they are all as ready as possible."

For the juniors, Harare Amateur Swimming has a team competing in the South Africa Juniors Championships, which also get underway in Durban, today.  HAS are fielding a team of nine, which left Harare yesterday, led by coach Michael Ranken, and team manager Zanele Nkomazana.  

The team are being captained by Wisdom Shumba and Tanatsirwa Chitsurura.  The other members are Limbikani Kalipengule, Mkhuseli Mahobele, Jayden Malandu, S'busiso Msimanga, Matida Musere, Saira Ramajan and Anje Van As.  

"I am looking forward to be racing, I think I have really high hopes for our team,'' Chitsurura said.  "We have been working really hard towards this gala so I think we are going to do quite well.

"We are going to put in all our efforts, then all the training will pay off."  

Shumba also believes they will do well at the juniors' meet.  

"Our preparations they have been quite good, not as thorough as we wanted, but I am very sure when we go for tour we are going to do extremely well," said Shumba.  

Shumba is also pushing to make the times for the African Junior Championships.  He will be competing in the 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke.

Source - the herald

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