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High Hopes As Zimbabwe's Peter Wetzlar Eyes Olympics Swimming Medal

FILE: Athletes gather at the pool during a swimming training session at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Zimbabwe’s Peter Wetzlar is expected to compete Tuesday in the 100-meter freestyle event at the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

In an interview, Frederick Ndlovu, head of the Olympics delegation, said there are high hopes that Peter will chalk a victory to progress to the next stage of the competition following the elimination of the country’s upcoming swimmer, Donata Katai, in the 100-meter backstroke event on Sunday.

“Peter is currently based in the United States and is one of our champions in swimming. He is a young athlete and we have so much hope that this experience in Tokyo is going to be very vital especially as we prepare for France 2024. He has a middle chance (of winning) just like all of our current athletes. Our athletes are quite young and this is their first experience of the Olympics so obviously there will be a lot of jitteriness and butterflies.”

Ndlovu said despite this setback, they expect good results from Peter, golfer Vincent Scott and 100-meter sprinter Ngoni Makusha.

“I’m positive that the performance of PPG (Peter Purcell Gilpin) in rowing when he came first on the second day and the performance of Donata has actually given the rest of the team a lot of confidence because they now believe that they can do it. So, it gives us the best platform and experience for Team Zimbabwe to prepare for France 2024.”

He also noted that Donata won’t return today as she is still with the team.

“The swimming team is still around for a few more days so that they can have an appreciation of what’s going on and do some soul searching as far as what is happening to other athletes.”

Scott and Ngoni are preparing for their events set for Thursday and Saturday respectively. Peter Gilpin is also expected to compete on Thursday for his personal ranking in the rowing competition as he is already out of the race for medals.

Zimbabwe’s most decorated former athlete and current Sports Minister, Kirsty Coventry, is in Japan cheering her team with some members of Team Zimbabwe.

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