The 2014 Youth Olympic Games came to a roaring start in Nanjing, China with an extravagant Opening Ceremony on Saturday where Zimbabwe’s delegation of 10 athletes and 7 officials participated.
Events opened today with the Women’s Triathlon where Peterhouse Girls’ Serena Rendell finished in the middle of the pack in 31st position out of a field of 64 tri-athletes with a time of 1 hour 10 minutes, 10 minutes behind the winner from Australia. Drew Williams from St John’s College will represent Zimbabwe on Monday in the Men’s Triathalon event.
Zimbabwean swimmer Robyn Lee who trains and schools in Australia, came second in her heat of the 100m Back Stroke Sunday morning, with a time of 1:07. Though she was just one second behind the winner of her heat, the time was not fast enough for her to secure a place in a semi-final race. Lee will compete in the 50m Butterfly on the 19th and the 100m Butterfly on the 21st. Her aquatic teammate, Chad Idelhson, who trains and schools in South Africa, qualified to compete in the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle on the 19th, the 50m butterfly on the 20th and the 100m freestyle on the 21st.
Single skull rowing competitions also began today. Zimbabwe’s female rower, Daniela Du Toit from Chisipite Senior came second in her heat with a time of 3:53 and 9th out of 24 single skull female rowers. Kyle Hinde, of St John’s College, came last in his heat of 6 with a time of 3:38 which was a 17th place finish out of the 24 single skull male rowers. Thus, neither Zimbabwean advanced to the semi-final stage of the race. Both Du Toit and Hinde will row in Repêchage races tomorrow. Repêchage is a practice in a series competition, like rowing, where participants who failed to meet qualifying standards to advance by a small margin can have another chance to continue to the next round. In rowing, because varying wind conditions can greatly affect competitors’ chances or times, repêchage allows the fastest losers from the first round a second chance.
Track and field events begin on the 20th with high expectations for Enlitha Ncube’s running the 3000m in the women’s race and Titus Nyathi in the 3000m for the men. Her teammate Mary Joy Mudyiravanji, follows in the 1500m on the 22nd.
Zimbabwe’s participation is rounded off with Hellenic Academy’s Sophie Teede who is participating as one of 31 contenders in the Individual Jumping equestrian competition on the 23rd.
The 2nd Youth Olympic Games close on the 27th.