Swim­ming sea­son starts

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ngqwele Dube

AN ex­cit­ing swim­ming sea­son, which kicks off on Fri­day, awaits Bu­l­awayo as the city pre­pares to host the re­gional CANA 4 Cham­pi­onships in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

The re­gional event in­volves 12 South­ern African coun­tries and the meet will run from Fe­bru­ary 15 to 18 at the City Pool. Mata­bele­land Am­a­teur Swim­ming Board chair­per­son, Nokuthula Cypri­anos said the host­ing of the CANA 4 meet is likely to see heated com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son as swim­mers aim to make the grade and rep­re­sent the na­tion at this pres­ti­gious event.

CANA is the African moth­er­body for swim­ming and Zone 4 com­prises south­ern African coun­tries that in­clude An­gola, Botswana, Co­moros, Le­sotho, Mada­gas­car, Malawi, Mau­ri­tius, Mozam­bique, Namibia, Sey­chelles, South Africa, Swazi­land, Zambia and Zim­babwe.

“Swim­mers will be ea­ger to rep­re­sent Zim­babwe at next year’s CANA Zone 4 cham­pi­onships since they are be­ing hosted on home soil and this is cer­tain to make the sea­son more com­pet­i­tive as swim­mers out­smart each other to post the best times.

“We have been con­firmed as the hosts and I think there will be more ef­fort put as the lo­cal swim­mers would want to lift medals and be crowned on home soil,” said Cypri­anos.

The first gala will be held to­mor­row evening at the City Pool fol­lowed by the All-com­ers gala on Satur­day and a Pen­tathlon meet is sched­uled for Septem­ber 23. Oc­to­ber will see the MASB host four main events, All com­ers on Oc­to­ber 1, with the sec­ond Mata­bele­land Gala on Oc­to­ber 7 fol­lowed by the Ju­niors com­pe­ti­tion the next day and the third and fourth Mat’land com­pe­ti­tions will be held on Oc­to­ber 21 and 28 re­spec­tively.

All events will be held at the City Pool be­sides the Ju­niors which is ear­marked for Hill­side Teach­ers Col­lege. Oc­to­ber will also be in­ter­spersed with var­i­ous in-house school events. Two galas would fol­low in Novem­ber with the Mat’land Cham­pi­onships ear­marked for early De­cem­ber. Cypri­anos said they had to squeeze in the galas in a short pe­riod as the se­nior na­tion­als have been brought for­ward to Jan­uary due to the host­ing of the CANAs.

“Our cal­en­dar is re­ally hec­tic be­cause of the CANAs. For Mata­bele­land it means we have to squeeze all the galas be­tween now and end of Novem­ber be­fore we host the Mata­bele­land Cham­pi­onships,” she said.

Zim­babwe emerged third at the CANA Zone 4 that took place from April 20 to 23 at Beau Bassin in Mau­ri­tius af­ter amass­ing 1722 points be­hind win­ners Mau­ri­tius and Zambia who had 2744 points and 1961 points re­spec­tively. — @rasmthembo

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