THE Zimbabwe swimming team received a timely boost as five athletes who were representing the country in the 2014 edition of the Fina World Swimming Championships joined camp yesterday from Qatar for the ongoing African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games.
The Fina World Swimming Championships started last Wednesday and ended on Sunday.
The swimming competition gets underway at 9am today at Bulawayo City Pool.
Zimbabwe’s leading swimmers — James Lawson, Robyn Lee, Chad Idensohn, Peter Wetzlar and Ratidzo Mutangadura — touched down in Harare on Sunday where they rested for a day before connecting to Bulawayo for the games.
Team manager Tracey Doorman confirmed their arrival in an interview yesterday while denying reports that Wetzlar picked up an injury in Qatar and could miss the ongoing games.
“I can confirm the arrival of the swimmers,” she said. “They arrived in the country on Sunday. They were tired so they had to rest in Harare.
“Now they are in Bulawayo. They arrived early in the morning and they have been accredited. It is not true that Peter (Wetzlar) is injured, he is fit and he is ready to compete.”
Although they came back empty-handed, the country will pin their hopes on the five for medals as they rubbed shoulders with the world’s best in Doha.
Fina World Swimming Championships assemble the world’s fastest swimmers for a five-day top-level showdown in a 25m pool.
This year the competition saw about 900 swimmers coming from all over the world.
Doorman added that preparations were smooth and the team was expecting medals.
“We have very minor muscle complains from some of our athletes, but it is not something serious,” she said.
“The team has been training very well, it is in good shape. We are ready for the competitions.”
Zimbabwe swimmers will battle it out for top honours with swimmers from South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Swaziland, Malawi and Angola.