Malawi started the 2020 Zone IV Swimming Championships in Gaborone, Botswana, on a flying note with gold and bronze medals.
Filipe Gomes won gold in the 50 metres breaststroke 17-24 category race while coach/player Sharon Melrose also shone like a beacon when she lifted bronze in the Masters section.
Gomes finished in 30.25 seconds to outclass Seychelles’ Mathieu Bachmann who settled for silver after clocking 30.42. Ralph Goveia of Zambia finished third in 30.64.
But Gomes’ top finish was not good enough to place Team Malawi among the best on the medals table where it finished eighth out of 13 countries at the end of day one.
Malawi Team Manager, Beatrice Makwenda, expressed satisfaction with the two’s performance, saying they had improved on their finishing times.
“We are doing very well. There have been great time improvements for our athletes including the young ones. Some of our swimmers have even improved by as many as 10 seconds. This is quite encouraging. We expect more medals,” Makwenda said.
As of day one, Zimbabwe led the medals table with five gold while Namibia finished second after amassing four gold. Mozambique were third with three gold.
In the Masters table, Malawi could only manage position six, which was a second-from-bottom finish out of seven countries.
Botswana finished on top with six gold followed by Zambia’s three while Mozambique came third with one.
According to canaswim.com, swimmers can achieve Fina A and B qualification times at the competition.
Such times are a prerequisite for participating in major Fina competitions and this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.