Katai breaks new ground at the Olympics

By Anashe Murombedzi

The weekend belonged to swimming sensation Donata Katai who broke new ground after becoming the first black Zimbabwean swimmer to participate at the Olympics.

Despite failing to reach the semi-finals of the women’s 100m backstroke, the 17-year-old Katai set social media abuzz this Sunday with most Zimbabweans showering her with praise for raising the country’s flag high and giving hope to young athletes.

While the Olympics are associated with the glitz and glamour that comes with podium finishes for Katai just being part of the cast of the best in world was a huge achievement which was capped with a personal record after winning her heat in a time of 1 minute 2 seconds. 

Katai, who will now be focusing on more rigorous training in the pool, has the potential to be back at the 2024 Olympics just like her idol, Kirsty Coventry who won gold four years after her debut at the Olympics.

The young Katai who is the reigning Zimbabwe Junior Sportswoman of the Year in the current African Junior Championship, holds the gold medal in both 50m and 100m backstrokes.

On Tuesday, all eyes will be on Katai’s teammate, Peter Wertzlar who competes in the 100m men’s freestyle.

This comes after Zimbabwean rower Peter Purcel-Glipin finished sixth in the quarter finals and failed to reach the A/B semifinals.

Purcel-Glipin, however, is now fighting to secure seventh spot on the final standings despite failing to challenge for a medal.