Malawi Aquatic Union (Mau) National Coach, Yona Walesi, has dubbed the pre- Olympic training camp as an eye opener ahead of the qualifiers.
Four local swimmers recently underwent a week-long camp in Stellenbosch, South Africa in readiness of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers.
The pre-Olympic training attracted swimmers from Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Angola, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania and Benin.
Walesi said they learnt a lot during the training, which will help them during the qualifiers.
“The training was of highest standard because we were dealing with athletes who have qualified for the Olympics in all levels. We also had athletes who are bidding to qualify. We have learnt a lot. When we train in Malawi, most of our athletes cover three to four kilometres a day. During our training in South Africa, athletes in level A would cover seven to eight kilometres in a day,” he said.
Walesi said his charges neither dropped nor improved their performance as a result of change in training routine and weather conditions.
“I would say our athletes maintained their records. This is because of the nature of training they went through. It was not the common training they go through. The chilly weather also affected many,” he said.
The national swimming coach also said he would develop a plan to identify and groom talent, having been exposed to new methods of producing swimmers.
“When grooming athletes, we have to consider all swimming strokes in every distance. Through this way youngsters will be able to major in one or two or more events after they sample all the strokes,” he said.
The four swimmers that attended the training are Mohamed Ali Moosa, Filipe Gomes, Tayamika Chang’anamuno and Ammara Pinto.