Some 14 swimmers left for Gaborone, Botswana, Tuesday to represent the country at this year’s Zone IV Swimming Championships.
The Malawi contingent has prominent swimmers Filipe Gomes, Amara Pinto, Tayamika Chayang’anamuno and Mohammed Ali. Up-and-coming Jeremiah and Jessica Makwenda have also made the trip alongside Olivia Losacco, Tujaliwe and Tasunje Mkaveya, Chisomo Haiya, Ethan Prieur, Tracy Chizonda, Tsinde Kumbatira and Asher Banda.
Sharon Melrose has travelled as Coach with Beatrice Makwenda taking up the role of Team Manager. Makwenda said she has confidence in the athletes’ ability to win medals for Malawi.
“Filipe, Amara and Tayamika are seasoned swimmers who know what it means to compete at international level. We also expect a lot from the other swimmers who have shown great potential despite being young,” she said.
Makwenda said they have nine-yearold athletes, Jeremiah and Tasunje, who will compete at international level for the first time. She said the swimmers had enough time to prepare for the regional showpiece which commences on February 20 and ends three days later.
“We started our preparations last year in August when we had a camp at Sun and Sand in Mangochi District. After this camp, the athletes continued training with their clubs. We also had a final preparation event for Lilongwe-based swimmers at Golden Peacock Hotel last week,” Makwenda said.
According to the competition’s website canaswim.com, swimmers can achieve Fina A and B qualification times.
Such times are a prerequisite for participating in major Fina competitions and this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.