Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
ZIMBABWE claimed its first medal, a silver, on the opening day of the African Swimming Confederation (Cana) Zone IV Swimming and Water Polo Championships at the Bulawayo City Pool during the morning session.
Graig van den Berg came second in the 15 years and over 800m freestyle race in a time of nine minutes 39.22 seconds to claim silver behind Botswana’s James Freeman, who touched the finish wall in eight minutes 47.78 seconds. Zambia’s Adam Bosse (9.39.27) was third.
South Africans, Christin Mundel clocked 9.35.85 in the Girls 15 years and over, while Tori Oliver (9.37.40) took gold in the Girls’ 14 years and under 800m freestyle, setting new championship records in the process.
The previous records for the Girls 15 years and over and Girls 14 years and under were held by Nicole Grasselli Barni (10.00.78) and Tock Layne (9.49.27) both from Mauritius.
South Africa’s Tailyn Seyffert (9:40.85) took second place in the girls 14 and under, with Therese Soukup (10:09.53) of Seychelles coming third.
Fleur Donker of Zambia took silver in the girls’ 15 and over section in nine minutes 45.27 seconds, and Seychelles Alexu Laird clinched the bronze after finishing 59 milliseconds later.
Hayden Ahwan from the Seychelles finished the boys’ 14 years and under 800m freestyle race in 9.31.54 to eclipse the previous record of 9.38:21 set by Ryan Kok Shun of Mauritius.
The fight for second and third positions in the 14 years and under race produced a photo finish as Kok Shun emerged second in 9:34:16 followed by Botswana’s Andile Bekker, who was 41 milliseconds behind, while Zimbabwe’s Denilson Cyprianos was seven milliseconds behind and took fourth position.