By SANDRA MWILA –
ZAMBIAN double swimming record holder Alex Axiotis is among the 22 local swimmers that were this morning expected to leave for Tanzania to take part in the Africa CANA Zone-ThreeGala that starts tomorrow.
Axiotis, who holds Zambia’s record in the 50m and 100m backstroke competitions will lead the group that ZAMBIA Swimming Union (ZSU) vice president Adewale Grillo believes will excel at the gala.
Also in the team is Mia-Ann Phiri who holds four national records in the women category and those in 50m and 100m backstroke as well as the 50m and 100m butterfly.
The Zone-Three (East-Africa) championships runs from October 19-21 in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.
Grillo explained that Zambia may fall outside the CANA Zone-Three but got invitedto the event in order to add competition to the East African swimmers like two other countries om Zambia’s region.
Zambia falls in CANA Zone-Four which is for Southern African countries.
He said Zambia was sending up to 22 swimmers for the event that has attracted nine countries.
Other countries taking part apart from Zambia from Zone Four are regional powerhouses Zimbabwe and South Africa who will join host nation Tanzania and regional representatives in Burundi, Kenya and defending champions Rwanda.
Grillo said the Zambian team comprises young and experienced swimmers.
“The team has prepared quite well ahead of the swimming gala and weexpect some medals though we have also sent youngsters who will beparticipating in an international event for the first time. The ideais for them to get exposure,” Grillo said.
He said Zambia will use the tournament to prepare for the CANAZone-Four championship that will be held next year in April.
The full team that left has Jade Phiri, Abi Samaras, Juliana Vidmar, PaigePollen, Ndabila Mulenga, Khushal Fernando, KeithMukata, JoshuaMulenga, Mia Phiri, Yasmine Fawaz, Temwani Chibiya and Michael Lillie.
Others are Kondwani Mulenga, Damien Shamambo,Tyronne Moosa, Chibwe Chungu, Harleena Naidu, Butemwe Mumba, ShaquilleMoosa, Nishan Fernando and Alex Axiotis