Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Zimbabwe national youth swimming champion Andresious Cyprianos has set his sights on qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
Cyprianos (22), a former Christian Brothers’ College (CBC) learner, believes the training that he has been receiving in the United States of America where he is on a swimming scholarship at Pace University in New York has made him a “complete” swimmer.
He is also studying Mathematics and Economics at Pace University.
Cyprianos told Chronicle Sport at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport yesterday that he draws inspiration from American multi-Olympic gold medalist, Michael Phelps.
“It’s been pretty tough balancing my academics and swimming at Pace University, and with all the buzz in New York I’ve learnt to make sacrifices and turn myself into a good athlete. I’m going for my final year and something is loading. I need one or two gold medals at some of the meets. I also want to better my times and qualify for the Olympics. Just to cut the long story short, this is a make or break season for me and everything with regards to my future will be decided in February,” said Cyprianos.
The qualifying time for the 100m butterfly is 52.36 seconds and the Bulawayo-bred star is just two seconds off.
“If I continue putting the same amount of work I can do it. What I know is that if I want something, I just go for it and I want to represent my country and do well at the Olympics. I’ve represented Zimbabwe at junior events, with the last being the Zone Six Games (Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Games) held in Bulawayo in 2014. The facilities and training in the States are awesome and I want to make the best out of them,” he said.
Cyprianos has been making waves at Pace University both in the swimming pool and the classroom since his move to the USA in 2015, and earned the All-American honourable mentions in 2016. He was part of 853 swimmers that were selected by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) for its Scholar All-America team. He has been working hard to keep in shape during his four months holiday, with a regular routine that starts with a morning gym session and an evening swim, as he braces for a hectic programme.
A multi-medal winner at various junior championships while representing Zimbabwe, Cyprianos, who comes from a family of three boys, Brendon (19) who is also on a swimming scholarship at America’s Mars Hill University in North Carolina and Denilson (15).
He challenged up-and-coming athletes to be dedicated.
“Hard work pays off. I’ve put in lots of work and with the support that I’ve received from my parents, brothers, coaches and other teammates, I’ve been able to scale heights. I believe it’s possible for other youngsters to do even better than me; all it takes is dedication and discipline,” said Cyprianos. – @ZililoR