Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter
HAVING wrapped up their participation at the World Aquatics Junior Swimming Championships last Friday, Zimbabwe’s coach Masi Takaedza has underscored the importance for regular exposure to such competitions.
The meet, targeting upcoming swimmers, ran from September 4 to 9 in Netanya, Israel.
Zimbabwe fielded three swimmers – Tori Dawe, Mikayla Makwabarara and Bjorn Mhlanga.
They competed in a number of events.
Dawe competed in 50m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle while Makwabarara took part in 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly in the women’s category.
In the men’s section Mhlanga participated in 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly.
Mhlanga and Dawe posted personal best times in 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle respectively.
Takaedza said one of the lessons they picked is the need for regular exposure and for that to happen there is need for resources and infrastructure.
“For swimmers participating at worlds, I think they did extremely well. Bjorn and Tori managed some new personal best times.
“For Mikayla (now based in the UK), she has just moved to a new country and so she is still settling in a new programme. She will definitely come back stronger next time. These three swimmers are definitely (the) ones to watch out for in the future.
“Lots of lessons learnt. The swimmers know they have to up the game going forward. The need to train consistently is one of the biggest lessons.
“The need for regular exposure to this level of competition. For this we need more resources and infrastructure,” said Takaedza.
The issue of facilities has over the years continued to be a challenge for several sporting disciplines in the country and swimming has not been spared.
They mostly rely on Les Brown Swimming Pool in Harare and City Pool in Bulawayo for the national events and schools’ facilities for some of their activities.
“I would like them to go back and continue training harder and build from this. They have all seen where everyone is in terms of time,” said Takaedza,