Zim junior rowers shine at Youth Olympics


ZIMBABWEAN rowers Daniella Du Toit and Kyle Hinde enjoyed decent starts at the Youth Olympic Games finishing second and sixth respectively to advance from their respective single sculls heats to the repechage phase at Xuanwu Lake in Nanjing, China, yesterday.


Du Toit (17), a student at Chisipite Senior School, was the more impressive of the two local rowers at the games after battling to a second-place finish in the junior women’s single sculls heat in a fast time of 3:53,74min to progress to repechage.

She narrowly missed out on an automatic place to the A and B semi-finals to Paraguay’s Alejandra Alonso who came first after crossing the finishing line 3:52,60min, but will have another chance to qualify via the repechage races today.

Belarus’ Krystsina Staraselets recorded the best time in the junior women’s single sculls after finishing in race in 3:44,97min.

Hinde, who is a lower six student at St Johns College finished sixth and last in his heat but his commendable time of 3:38,02 saw him progressing to the repechage in the junior men single sculls competition.

Eight athletes qualified directly to the semi-finals A/B round, the remainder of the starters will face each other in repechage races today.

Among the athletes to qualify in the junior men’s race are current single sculls world champion Tim Ole Naske from Germany and world championships runner-up Daniel de Groot from Canada.

Despite both being among the best in the world, they stood no chance against the 3:25,11min Cuba’s Orlando Sotolongo posted in his heat.

Meanwhile Zimbabwean female triathlete Serena Rendell set a new personal best time but it was not enough as she finished a distant 32 out of 33 competitors in women’s triathlon competition at the Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, yesterday.

The 17-year old Peterhouse College student completed the 1,5km swim, 38,4 km cycle stage and the 10km run leg in a new personal best time of one hour, 10 min, 10sec in hot and humid conditions in Nanjing.

Rendell, who finished fourth at the African Youth Games in Botswana early this year, never challenged the leaders after a slow start during the swim leg.

Although she posted faster times in the cycle stage and the 10km run she was unable to improve her position, only managing to finish ahead of Victorija Deldio from the Philippines.

It was however a good learning experience for Rendell in her first appearance at a major event such as the Youth Olympics.

Australia’s Brittany Dutton produced a solid perfomance to claim Youth Olympic gold to continue Australia’s stellar success in women’s triathlon competition at the Olympic Games while US’s Stephanie Jenks and France’s Emilie Morier claimed silver and bronze respectively.

Australian women have now won a medal at every triathlon competition at the Olympics, including the inaugural Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

South Africa’s Jayme-Sue Vermaas was the continent’s best performer in the competition after finishing 18th while Egypt’s Rehab Hamdy settled for position 27.

Zimbabwe’s other triathlete at the Youth Olympics, Drew Williams, will take part in the men’s triathlon competition today.

Team Zimbabwe preliminary and qualification schedules

Mary Joy Mudyiravanji, 1 500m — Aug 22
Enlitha Ncube, 3 000m — Aug 20
Titus Nyathi, 3 000m — Aug 20

Sophie Teede — Aug 23=

Chad Idensohn, 50m Freestyle — Tomorrow
Chad Idensohn, 50m Butterfly — Aug 20
Robyn Lee, 100m Butterfly — Aug 21

Drew Williams — Today