Every South African a Swimmer

Bulawayo hosts the CANA Zone IV Swimming and Water Polo Championships 2017

Bulawayo hosts the CANA Zone IV Swimming and Water Polo Championships 2017
Bulawayo, Friday, 17 February 2017 - Day 1 of the African Swimming Confederation (CANA) Zone IV Swimming and Water Polo Championships produced three new times at the Bulawayo City Pool, in Bulawayo Zimbabwe.

The event was officially opened by the Honourable Phelekezela R Mphoko, Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, with the 13 country teams parading in a march pass round the venue to the delight of spectators before getting to the swimming business of the day.

South Africa’s Christin Mundel and Tori Oliver clocked nine minutes 35.85 seconds in the girls 15 and over and nine minutes 37.40 seconds in the girls 14 and under 800m freestyle respectively to set new championships records while Seychelles’ Hayden Ahwan finished the boys 14 and under race in nine minutes 31.54 seconds to eclipse the previous record (nine minutes 38:21 seconds) set by Ryan Kok Shun of Mauritius. The previous records for the girls 15 and over and girls 14 and under were 10 minutes 00.78 seconds and nine minutes 49.27 seconds set by Seychelles’ Nicole Grasselli Barni and Tock Layne of Mauritius respectively. The records were made last year in Mauritius.

Zimbabwe’s Graig Van Den Berg came second in the 15 and over 800m freestyle event in a time of nine minutes 39.22 seconds behind Botswana’s James Freeman who hit the finish line in eight minutes 47.78 seconds and third was Zambia’s Adam Bosse (9.39.27)

The fight for second and third position in the 14 and under race produced a photo finish as Kok Shun took second place in 9:34:16 followed by Botswana’s Andile Bekker who was 41 milliseconds behind and Zimbabwe’s Denilson Cyprianos was seven milliseconds late to contend with fourth position. South Africa’s Tailyn Seyffert took second place (9:40.85) in the girls 14 and under with Therese Soukup of Seychelles coming in third (10:09.53). Fleur Donker of Zambia took the silver medal in the girls 15 and over section in nine minutes 45.27 seconds and Seychelles Alexu Laird clinched the bronze after coming in 59 milliseconds later.

On the Water Polo side, South Africa displayed dominance as they beat Zimbabwe in all the three matches. South Africa B Boys won 15- 5, SA A girls won 9-7 while the Zimbabwe A boys were beaten 13-4.

Proceedings kicked off late on Day 2 due to the rains emanating from the effects of Cyclone Dineo that pounded Bulawayo the whole of Friday. However, once the competition started it ran smoothly with all the morning events being concluded on time.

Zimbabwe Aquatic Union president, Mary Kloppers said they had to delay the start of the morning session as the heavy rains pounded the venue and there was threat of lightning. “We had to assess the situation first but since the swimmers would be getting into the water and would be wet  we felt there would be no problem with them continuing with only the officials facing the weather challenge but the games had to go on,” she said. Kloppers expressed satisfaction with the proceedings at the competition saying everything was moving smoothly without any glitches.

Host country Zimbabwe took the lead on the score board after the morning session having amassed 932 points while Zambia was second with 759 points while South Africa was third with 579 points.

Points are allocated for swimmers placed number 1 to number 15 and are given as follows; 1st place – 18 points, 2nd place – 16 points, 3rd place – 14 points, 4th place – 12 points, 5th place – 11 points, 6th place – 10 points, 7th place – 9 points, 8th place – 8 points, 9th place – 7 points, 10th place – 6 points, 11th place – 5 points, 12th place – 4 points, 13th place – 3 points, 14th place – 2 points, 15th place – 1 point.

In water polo, South Africa continued its dominance over Zimbabwe making a clean sweep in all the games. Zimbabwe B girls lost 5-10, Zim B Boys lost 14-2 and Zim A Girls narrowly lost to SA A Girls 8-7.
ZIMBABWE managed to consolidate its lead during the evening session during which events such as freestyle, butterfly and 400m freestyle relays were held. The weather was kinder as the rains eased although it was still cloudy.

By the end of Day 2 on Friday, Zimbabwe had 1421.5 points followed by Zambia who had 1121 and South Africa was third with 946. Several swimmers set new championship times, a sign of the high level of competition that has been on show since the event began.

South Africa’s Ethan Spieker set a new record of two minutes 02.48 seconds in the men 13-14 age group 200m freestyle beating the previous two minutes 06.86 that had been set by Quinton Delie.

Botswana’s James Freeman swam the men 15-16 years 200m freestyle in one minute 58.34 seconds to set a new time for that event while Seychelles’ Alexus Laird broke the record for the women 17 and over 200m freestyle, completing the race in two minutes 11.26 seconds.

Namibia’s Mikah Burger also set a time as he raced to the finish line in 30:12 seconds in the men’s 12 and under 50m butterfly event and Lesley Blignaut of South Africa swam the women 15-16 50m butterfly race in 29.35 seconds marking a new record.

Zimbabwe’s Robyn Lee was not to be outdone as she clocked 28.65 seconds in the 17 and over 50m fly race making a new mark while together with here compatriots, Devyn Leask, Nyasha Mukonoweshuro, and Maryke Keon they set a new record in the 15 and over 400m freestyle race which they finished in four minutes 10.28.

South Africa’s men 14 and under relay team, made up of Ethan Spieker, Felix Maseko, Breydon Remley and Lebone Taukobong set a new 400m freestyle time reaching the finishing line in three minutes 53.33 seconds.

Scoreboard standings after Friday evening session:

1.          Zimbabwe            1421.5
2.          Zambia                1121
3.          South Africa         946
4.          Mauritius              848
5.          Kenya                  748
6.          Botswana             545
7.          Mozambique        456
8.          Namibia               352.5
9.          Uganda                348
10.        Malawi                 309
11.        Seychelles            293
12.        Angola                 178
13.        Tanzania              109

The full results are available at:


CANA Zone IV is the governing body of aquatics in Southern Africa.
Its objective is to encourage the practice of aquatic disciplines for all in Southern Africa with the purpose of promoting swimming as a life skill through Learn To Swim programmes; providing healthy exercise to Southern Africans of all ages and races; recruiting recreational swimmers to compete in the various competitions; and promoting competition and athlete development to the highest level.