AS the Africa Junior Swimming Championship entered Day-Two in Lusaka yesterday, Zambia was trailing a distant 10th with South Africa leading the charts on 247 points and an attractive 16 medals.
The 10th edition of the Africa Junior Swimming Championship that has attracted 113 countries, is taking place at the gigantic 90-Days Legacy Swimming pool at the Olympic Youth Development Center (OYDC).
Egypt rallied in second position with 196 points, boasting of two gold, nine silver and six bronze medals, while Namibia had 73 points with one gold medal, one silver and two bronze medals.
Algeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Seychelles, Botswana, Zambia, Mauritius, Malawi and Senegal followed each other in that order in the 200 meters breast stroke.
South Africa who are represented by 20 swimmers, have won 11 gold, three silver and five bronze medals.
Algeria is on 70 points, Kenya recorded 45 points, Zimbabwe has 42 points and Mozambique attained 27 points, while Seychelles and Botswana are at 15 points apiece, Zambia is 10th on 13 points, Mauritius has four points, Malawi has two and Senegal is last with one point.
Though Team Zambia’s Tilka Paljik qualified on Day-One after emerging fifth in the 200 metres breaststroke finals to sail her through to the final round, where she performed below her best abilities, she has not given up hope of the team getting a medal from the four-day event that ends tomorrow.
Tilka said despite her team not getting any medals in the competition so far, she is proud of the team because everyone is doing their best, but described the competition as stiff.
Zambia is being represented by 16 swimmers at the championship.
“Despite Team Zambia not fairing well, I am proud of my team because we are doing our level best.
I am happy that I managed top qualify for the final round for Day-one, though I did not get any medal at the end of the final. I am not sure of my chances in the other races yet,” Tilka said.
Tilka only managed a sixth position in the final round of qualifiers, finishing her heat in 2 minutes, 59 seconds and 83 milli-seconds, with South Africa’s Tatjan Schoenmaker swimming the fastest in 2 minutes 32 seconds and 95 milliseconds to take first position and also set a new record in the women 200 metres breast stroke.
Schoenmaker was followed by Saad Narmin from Egypt, Roth Toni from Namibia, Nefsi Hamida Algeria, Smalley Molin Namibia, Ogot Akinyi Kenya and another participant from South Africa finishing last.
And South Africa broke five records in the seven new records that have been set.
Kade Wood set a record in the men’s 50 metres butterfly after he beat Kristopher Matoulou’s record set in 2005. Wood timed 26:16 seconds, while Matoulou’s record stood at 26:27 seconds.
SOURCE: Times of Zambia