Zimbabwe may have found a new golden girl in the pool. Australian-based Zimbabwean swimmer, Robyn Lee has enjoyed a grand opening at the African Junior Swimming Championships in Cairo. Sixteen year old Lee has already racked up four medals, three of them gold, on the opening two days (17-18 October 2015) of the CANA Championships.
Lee’s first gold came in the 100m girls 15-16 year old breaststroke where she finished with a personal best time of 1:05.07, ahead of Tunisia’s Rim Ouennich and South Africa’s Kristen Straszacke. Making her way to the 100m butterfly final, Lee put up another solid performance to claim her second gold for Zimbabwe in one night in 1:03.51.
Going into the second day Lee continued her good run of form winning two more medals – one gold and silver – for Zimbabwe. Her golden finish in the 50m backstroke in 29.95 seconds, was not only a new Zimbabwe record, but also a new record for the African Junior Swimming Championships. Lee narrowly missed a fourth gold by .41 of a second behind the first place finisher to earn silver in the 200m butterfly. Lee continues her quest for gold in the finals of the 200IM and 50m butterfly tonight (19 October 2015).
This week’s successful campaign from Lee is the latest in a long history of representing Zimbabwe on the international stage. Two years ago, Lee had similar success in the last edition of the African Junior Swim Champs, where she earned medals in Zambia. Last year she flew the Zimbabwean flag at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.
Though not yet medaling, the rest of the four member Team Zimbabwe also opened the championships on a strong note. Falcon College’s Liam O’Hara put in a stellar performance in the Boys 100m breaststroke final, finishing with a personal best time of 1.11.25, to earn fourth place. He will swim in the 100m butterfly tonight, after earning a personal best of 1.04.79 this morning in the heats.
Liam Davis of St John’s College will be hoping to add to Zimbabwe’s medal count later today when he swims in the 200m breaststroke final. Davis who has the fourth fastest qualifying time will swim in Lane Six.
Nomvula Mjimba, formerly of Dominican Convent Harare, but now based in South Africa, will also swim her heart out for Zimbabwe in the Girls 50m freestyle final this evening. She also earned two personal best times this morning in heats with 29.29 in the 50m freestyle and 31.68 in the 50m butterfly.