The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN swimmer, Donata Katai made a brilliant start on her Olympic Games debut appearance when she won her 100m backstroke heat with a new personal best time of 1:02:73 at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Sunday.
Starting in lane five, the 17-year old Katai finished first in her first ever swim at the Olympics with Indian Maana Patel second and Kimberly Ince of Grenada was third. Katai is the first black swimmer to represent the country at the Olympics. Despite setting personal best time, Katai did not qualify for the semifinal as she could not beat the cut off time of 1.00.04. This means this was her first only appearance at the Tokyo Olympics.
Earlier on, Zimbabwean rower, Peter Purcell-Gilpin finished sixth in the Men’s Single Sculls, which means he is out of contention for a medal. By finishing in the bottom three, Purcell-Gilpin is now fighting for a place in the semifinals of the C and D for final rankings.
On Saturday, the 26-year old Purcell-Gilpin won his repechage to book a place in Sunday’s quarterfinals. Purcell-Gilpin races again on Wednesday for a C/D semifinal slot.
Zimbabwe has five representatives at the Olympics, with the others being 100m sprinter Ngoni Makusha, golfer Scott Vincent and swimmer Peter Wetzlar. The other are yet to start their participation at the Olympics.