Harare retain National Swimming Champs title

23 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Harare retain National Swimming Champs title Some of the winners at the National Senior Swimming Championships.


Sports Reporter

HARARE maintained their dominance at the National Senior Swimming Championships as they retained the title again this year.

The national event ended yesterday with Harare being crowned champions at Les Brown Pool.

The hosts emerged winners with combined team scores of 3 266 points.

Bulawayo finished second with 1 857 points while Mashonaland Country District came third with 614 points.

Harare province’s captain Vhenekai Dhemba said they worked hard as a team.

“It’s very good for us to have done this. I am very proud of my team because a lot of them have been training very hard for this competition.

“My performance was quite good, I think. I have been very close to all my PBs (personal best), which I am very proud of.

“I plan to keep training, be progressive and better my times,” said Dhemba.

Some of Harare’s outstanding swimmers during the five-day competition included Neema Bhulabhai, who was placed first in the Girls 13-year-olds age group.

Alexis Johnsen emerged tops in the Girls 14-year-olds while Tarirai Madamombe and Anje Van As also topped the Boys 16-year-olds and Girls 17 and Over age groups.

Bulawayo had a good show in most of the relay events while Jayden De Swardt was among the top swimmers that rose to the occasion as he collected 10 gold medals, one bronze and one silver.

De Swardt was ranked first in the Boys 17 and Over age group.

“I have got a lot of PBs, good times and I managed to get three qualifying times for the SA Seniors gala in April.

“The level of competition was good especially in the short events. I think the longer events we need a bit more competition here in Zimbabwe. But overall (it was) good,” said De Swardt.

Bulawayo coach Chris Watson was pleased with the performance of the team.

“There is definitely an improvement. I have seen, from our Bulawayo swimmers a lot of PBs. We also had a handful making the times they were looking for, for SANJ, the South African National Juniors coming up soon.

“And I think we had a swimmer also make the South Africa Seniors time as well.

“So I think this year’s event, it’s very impressive. Something that stood out for me was the level of swimming, how competitive it was this year in all the age groups. So it’s good to see the standard of swimming picking up in the country,” said Watson.

While Harare got the overall winners’ trophy, Bulawayo retained the aggregate trophy.

Mashonaland Country Districts team manager Louise Arnold was happy with the outcome.

“I think my team performance has been amazing…We had 17 swimmers in this whole gala and we still managed to come third. So I think that’s a huge achievement.

“Quite a number of our swimmers made the times for the Level Three in Johannesburg in the middle of March and one of our swimmers Callum Chisholm, made two SANJ (South Africa National Juniors) times.

“He is a 13-year-old boy and he is now going to go on the SANJ tour and we are so proud of him.

“He is going to be competing in, I think, the 50m backstroke, and the other one is the 50m butterfly,” said Arnold.

Chisholm occupied the top spot in the Boys 13-year-olds.

Matabeleland South and Midlands were fourth and fifth respectively.

Gaborone Aquatics Club were sixth followed by Crocs and Matabeleland North on position seven and eight respectively.

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