Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
LOCAL swimmers Denilson Cyprianos as well as Liam O’Hara were the toast of Zimbabwe’s team that took part in the 2018 Irish Summer National Championships in Ireland last week as they clinched two medals apiece and broke national records.
Cyprianos (16), who is cementing his moniker, king of backstroke, was called to the podium twice as he clinched a silver medal in the 200m backstroke and a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke. He also set new national records in the two events.
O’Hara (17) returned home with two bronze medals for the 50m and 200m breaststroke events and also set a new record in the 50m breaststroke as he touched the finishing pad in 29,66 seconds, eclipsing James Lawson’s 29,85. He swam the 200m breaststroke in two minutes 23 seconds.
Cyprianos completed the 100m backstroke record in 1,01,02 taking Peter Wetzlar’s record in the 200m backstroke, he made a personal best of two minutes 10,68 seconds on his way to breaking another record. He also made the final in the other two races he took part in, the 200m freestyle and 50m backstroke.
The boys’ team that comprised Cyprianos, O’Hara, Dale Bruce (18) and Quintin Tayali (17) also claimed a bronze in the 4x400m medley relay at the Irish Championships that were held at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.
Zimbabwe Aquatic Union president, Mary Kloppers said they were happy with the athletes’ performances at such a big stage despite they did not achieve the intended aim of qualifying for the Youth Olympics scheduled for Argentina later this year.
“We are pleased with the medal haul the boys made, it was quite a great feat especially considering the opposition they were up against. The experience and exposure was also great for our swimmers.
“Unfortunately we went there with the aim of achieving qualifying times for the Youth Olympics but we did not meet the times although O’Hara managed to get qualifying B times, but these mean his participation at the Olympics will be at the discretion of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)and is not guaranteed,” she said.
Kloppers said Liam Davis also managed to achieve qualifying B times in a United Kingdom meet, adding they would have to wait to hear from the IOC.
The Youth Olympics are scheduled for Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October.
Female swimmers that also travelled to Ireland are Paige van der Westhuizen and Nomvula Mjimba while United Kingdom-based Devyn Leask also joined the team.