OLYMPICS UPDATE: Donata Katai impresses

By Lawrence Trusida Sport Editor
DESPITE failing to proceed to the semis, Zimbabwean flag bearer Donata Katai recorded her personal best time as she won the first heat of the women’s 100m backstroke at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
The 17 year old Gateway High School student became the first black swimmer to represent Zimbabwe at the Olympics when she took to the Tokyo Aquatic Centre this Sunday.
With the weight of expectation around her shoulders, after coming in as the Junior African champion and also breaking Kirsty Coventry’s junior records during the run up to the Olympic she did not disappoint as she came first in her heat.
She posted a time a personal best time of 1 minute 2.73 seconds first heat in the 100m backstroke.
Maana Patel of India came second while Grenada’s Kimberly Ince finished third in the heat.
Sadly her exploits were not enough to make it to the semis after she failed to reach the top 16 of the competition, but she will come back home a hero, just like Kirsty Coventry who failed to take a single medal in her first Olympics at 17 but returned four years later and left a World champion.
Earlier on, rower Peter Purcell-Gilpin came 6th in his quarterfinals heat and failed to make it to the semifinals.
Peter Purcell-Gilpin will compete again on Wednesday for a world ranking.
Meanwhile, swimmer Peter Wetzlar will be the next Zimbabwean to compete in the 100m freestyle on Tuesday.