Rising star: Young Zimbabwean swimmer grabs world’s attention

By Tatenda Marwodzi

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Meet 15 year old Zimbabwean swimmer Donata Katai, who was recently featured on a special episode on BBC for her achievements in the sport of swimming.

Young Donata has come into the limelight after breaking the record at the Africa Junior Championships winning 2 gold medals.

The swimmer not only beat an Olympian but she broke Zimbabwe’s most decorated swimmer Kirsty Coventry’s record. Coventry, who is now Sports Minister has urged the teenage swimmer to start comparing herself internationally. The minister also expressed joy that someone was finally breaking her records.

Donata Katai was born in Harare and is currently completing her Ordinary Level studies at Gateway School. She started learning to swim at the tender age of 4 through the encouragement of her parents.

She discovered that she loved the sport when she started winning competitions held at school. Like her idol, Coventry, young Katai is excelling in backstroke swimming. Her impressive performance led to her being featured by BBC Africa.

This is good exposure for Zimbabwean sport as it shows that the country does have world class athletes. The hope is that more athletes can be featured on the program the likes of motorcycle rider Graeme Sharp and 16 year old top squash player Ryan Gwidzima.

Katai is expected to impress at this week’s National Swimming Championship’s to be held at Bulawayo City Pool.

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