Thursday, 8 July 2021

ZIM SENDS FIVE ATHLETES, 13 OFFICIALS TO JAPAN

YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, has urged the athletes to represent the country, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, to give it their best shot.

She was speaking during Team Zimbabwe’s unveiling ceremony held virtually yesterday. Zimbabwe will be sending a delegation of 18 people — five athletes and 13 officials for the Games, set from July 23 to August 8.

Donata Katai and Peter Wetzlar will represent the country in swimming. Katai will compete in the 100m backstroke while Wetzlar will battle in the 100m freestyle. Athletics will field Ngoni Makusha in the 100m.

Vincent Scott and Peter Purcell-Gilpin will compete in golf and rowing. Purcell-Gilpin will battle for honours in the men’s single scull.

“It’s a younger team and again this should be a time where you are taking everything in, learn from other athletes, watch how other athletes do things, know that you have had an exceptional four years of training,’’ said Coventry.

“Have the confidence to just go out there and represent your country proudly and leave everything on the field of play.’’

With two weeks, before the Games start, Coventry urged the athletes to utilise the time left, to get ready to give it their best.

“To our athletes, you still have a little bit of work left, 16 days, it’s not that far,’’ she said. “I know we have some athletes, competing right around the first couple of days, but just finish strong.

“You have got a couple of more weeks left, two more weeks, put in that extra time, put that extra bit of effort.”

Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president, Thabani Gonye, said they were confident the Games will go on very well in these tough times.

“These Games, I think the priority that has been given by Tokyo 2020, the IOC, the Government of Japan, for them to go ahead, and all of us here in Zimbabwe, was that it took into account the health of the athletes,’’ said Gonye.

“The Olympic Games, by their nature, are the world’s biggest, and highest level, sporting competition to showcase that talent, of all the best athletes.

“They create dreams, they create sporting heroes and lifetime opportunities, for athletes, and every individual involved, participating and also watching, the Games.’’ Qualification, for Zimbabwe’s athletes, proved quite a tough task.

Only Vincent and Purcell-Gilpin were able to reach the qualifying mark, in their events, while swimming and athletics got universality slots.

Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Satoshi Tanaka, said they were looking forward to hosting the Games.

“Decision to host the Tokyo Olympic, and Paralympic Games, in this situation, was not an easy one. “But, since the 2020 Games were postponed last year, the Japanese Government, the Japanese Olympic Committee, and the other concerned parties, have been making all possible efforts to realise safe and secure Games this year,” said Tanaka.

Team Zimbabwe

Aquatics — Swimming

Athletes: Donata Katai, Peter Wetzlar

Coach: Lindsy Tudor-Cole

Athletics

Athlete: Ngoni Makusha

Coach: Lisimati Phakamile

Rowing

Athlete: Peter Purcell-Gilpin

Coach: James Alexander Stephenson

Golf

Athlete: Scott Vincent

Caddy: Kesley Anne Vincent

Coach/Team Leader: Mufaro Chivonivoni

Chef de Mission: Fredreck Ndlovu

Team Admin: Memory Pakati

Physiotherapist and Covid-19 Liaison Officer: Abigail Mnikwa

ZOC president: Thabani Gonye

ZOC chief executive: Stephen Mudawarima

Government Delegation: Sports and Recreation Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa, PA to the Minister Tariro Kadzirange, Chairman Portfolio Committee Mathias Tongofa. Herald

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