BOTSWANA MADE IMPRESSION
Local swimmers opened the CANA Zone IV Championships 2020 pools in grand style with James Freeman and Andile Bekker garnering gold and silver medals respectively in the 800 metre freestyle at UB on February 19.
To add to the medal list, 800 metres freestyle swimmer Maxine Egner did not disappoint as she bagged the country a bronze medal in the women category. Freeman stopped the clock in 8:39.05 to claim a gold medal, seconded by countryman Bekker with 8:56.88, while Seychelles’ Payer Damien settled for a bronze in 9.08.18.
Both Freeman and Bekker made their intentions known early as they led the pack in the first laps.
Freeman attacked first, as he opened a huge gap, making it difficult for the opponents to challenge him.
Bekker, who was pursued by Damien, seemed to have a plan too, as he steadily reeled, but increased his pace on the fourth last lap and outclassed his opponent in the fourth lap, thus settling for the gold and silver.
Freeman expressed glee for not disappointing the expectant crowd, and said it was his plan to be the first athlete to deliver a gold for Botswana, and was on cloud nine for achieving his mission.
He said winning a first gold medal in front of the home crowd was a motivation for his upcoming races.
The first race, he said was important, given that it set the tone for the rest of the competition. He however said he would continue to fight for the country.
“I am aware that Batswana have higher expectations on us, and yes I want to win more gold medals,” he said
He said he always enjoys racing in the University Of Botswana swimming pool, given that it was fast.
Bekker who shared Freeman’s sentiments, said winning a medal for the country was a great achievement.
He said Freeman pushed him to the limit, hence finishing second after him, adding that he was intending to continue making the country proud in the coming races.
Botswana is hosting the swimming Championships expected to end on February 23. BOPA