SWIMMING coach Masi Takaedza says Zimbabwe’s participation at the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships in Netanya, Israel next week is an opportunity for local swimmers to compete with some of the best and learn.
Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter
The trio of Tori Dawe, Mikayla Makwabarara and Bjorn Mhlanga are set to represent Zimbabwe at the global competition targeting young swimmers between the ages of 14 and 18.
The championships will get underway on September 4 and run until September 9.
The three swimmers have been working with their coaches in their respective bases.
Mhlanga trains in South Africa while former Highlands swimmer Makwabarara is now based in the UK and Dawe has been working with her coach at Spartans club.
“This is an opportunity for these swimmers to rub shoulders and compete against some of the best junior swimmers in the world. This gives them the much needed exposure in preparation for future competitions. We hope they will learn from this experience.
“This competition gives these young swimmers the opportunity to compete at the highest level. They will also be able to attend some coaching clinics with some renowned coaches.
“This competition gives the swimmers an opportunity to grow, learn and get the much needed exposure in preparation for future competitions. We hope the swimmers will build from this and develop further to qualify for future meets,” Takaedza said.
Takaedza will be in charge of the swimmers during this tour and was scheduled to leave for Israel yesterday together with Dawe. They will meet Mhlanga in Dubai. Makwabarara will fly to Israel from her UK base.
The three swimmers will compete in 50m and 100m freestyle.
Mhlanga, who is 17 years old and the highest Aqua Points ranked swimmer in the team, will also compete in 200m freestyle, 50m and 100m butterfly.
While 15-year-old Makwabarara will also take part in the 50m and 100m butterfly. Dawe will also be up for competition in 50m butterfly and 100m backstroke.
Takaedza noted that based on the swimmers’ times, they are within the range with their African counterparts and going into this meet, they can improve their times.
“The swimmers’ times compare favourably with counterparts from other African countries although there is room for improvement. Going into a competition of this magnitude my expectation is that the swimmers will get personal best times,” said Takaedza.
Speaking to The Herald early this week, Zimbabwe Swimming chairperson Zanele Nkomazana said they are grateful for the opportunities to compete at various international competitions as they seek to grow the sport.
“We are so grateful for the various international competitions that our federation has been invited to. We have also worked hard to fulfill all the spots offered to us,” said Nkomazana.