Team Zimbabwe Swimming, up against stiff competition from neighbouring swimming powerhouse Team South Africa, started off with a promising start. One of the hopefuls, Kelly Graham, gave the coaches a scare this afternoon, after collapsing and being stretchered away from the pool after an asthma attack.
The hosts were represented in all categories, but all fell short in qualification time except for Chad Idesohn and James Lawson who are medal hopefuls in the 100 meter freestyle and 50 metre breaststroke respectively with Idesohn’s best time being 52.67 sec whilst James made 30.20 seconds.
Team Zimbabwe collected four medals in the swimming evening session from swimmers who had recently returned from the FINA Doha Short Course Championships. A silver medal came courtesy of Idesohn who recorded a time of 52.13 seconds in the 100m freestyle, an improvement from a 52.60 he had set in the preliminary race.
Team Zimbabwe Ambassador Lawson James scooped a bronze medal for the team in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 29.89 seconds, which was a significant improvement from 30.20 he clocked in the heats.
The men’s 4×100m freestlye relay registered another silver medal for the team. The team, consisting of Idesohn, Lawson, Andresious Cyprianos and Peter Wetzlar finished the race with a Zimbabwean record time of 3:35.
The 4×100m mixed medley relay earned the last bronze medal for the evening. The team comprised of Roxy Brown, Lawson, Ratidzo Mutangadura and Idehnson from their 4.10 seed time recorded a 4.21 in the final race.
Zimbabwean swimmers strived against the serious competition to earn some personal best times today. Ratidzo Mutangadura of Chisipite Senior sliced off 0.6 seconds from her 100m butterfly PB to finish fourth in the final with a time of 108.89. Chase Onorati. a student at St John’s College, shaved off 0.5 seconds from his personal best time in the 100m freestyle as well. Given that Ratidzo is 16 years old and Chase 15, their finishes were strong against older swimmers in the U20 competition.
Tomorrow promises a second challenging and exciting day of swimming for Team Zimbabwe.