Team Zimbabwe rounded up their participation in the 12th FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha today, competing in two events.
In the 100m freestyle heats, Peter Wetzlar finished with a time of 50.78 seconds, 62nd out of a field of 110 swimmers, and 4.28 seconds behind victor Cesar Cielo Finho of Brazil. Unlike their neck and neck performances in the previous days, teammate Chad Idehsohn trailed Wetzlar significantly, finishing twenty places behind Wetzlar in 82nd position, with a time of 52.07 seconds.
James Lawson enjoyed his last race of the meet, swimming the 50m breaststroke with a time of 29.02, taking 59th place in a field of 116 swimmers. The fourth Zimbabwean teammate, Robyn Lee, who is based in Australia, was unable to compete in Doha because of an aggravated shoulder injury.
Junior swimmers, Ratidzo Mutangadura of Chisipite and Liam Davis of St John’s College, enjoyed the FINA Youth Program running concurrently in Doha, gaining valuable training and exposure. The program invited two youth 14-16 years old from each country participating in Doha to “earn the latest trends and techniques in training that have helped mold today’s swimming champions.” Ratidzo and Liam are bright lights in the future of Zimbabwean aquatics; their experience in Doha can only serve to strengthen their skill levels.
Zimbabwe Aquatic Union President Mary Kloppers posted this comment earlier today on SSN about her swimmers’ performance in Doha: “Zimbabwe’s swimmers are all juniors – under no circumstances did we, Zimbabwe swimming, expect them to make finals when competing against professional senior swimmers. Attending this competition was done to prepare them for future competitions and not to bring medals home. We are exceptionally proud of our swimmers’ achievements.”
Team Zimbabwe is not competing in events on the final day of the Doha competitions, but are travelling home tomorrow in time to compete in the AUSC Region 5 games in Bulawayo, with swimming events beginning on Tuesday, December 9. Doha has provided them tremendous exposure for the five who participated, competing alongside the world championship swimmers.
The next FINA Short Course (25m) World Championships will take place in Windsor, Canada, in 2016.