Zimbabwe Swimming Gamble Pays Off

A few months ago, Mary Kloppers, President of the Zimbabwe Aquatics Union, faced a dilemma.  Together with her national committee, she was working on selecting the national senior swim team to represent Zimbabwe at the All Africa Games in Brazzaville.  Kirsty was in, Sean Gunn, James Lawson, and so the list went on.  Then the discussion came to settle on young, but impressive Robyn Lee, based in Australia.

“We took a gamble and removed her from the African senior team that went to Brazzaville, as we believed she should defend her victrix ludorum title she earned in the last edition of the Junior African champs that she won in Zambia two years ago in the 13 & 14 year old category,” Kloppers told SSN.

That gamble has paid off.

Last night Lee finished off the championships just as she had started it, in grand style.  After earning a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle in a time of 58.79, she slayed the 200m backstroke in 2.20.44, breaking both the Zimbabwe and African Championship records for that event.

This week she has hauled in five gold, two  silver and one bronze medal, a medal for each of the eight events she swam, in a spectacular performance at the African Junior Champs.  Lee has broken three Zimbabwean records, achieved multiple personal bests and even broke the African Junior Champs records for both the 50m butterfly  and the 200m backstroke.  And yes, she has won the coveted victrix ludorum, the highest accolade for a swimmer, at the championships.

Though Lee has been plagued by injuries over the past year, she has persevered and recovered and is now giving her best performances ever.  Her future is undeniably a bright star on Zimbabwe’s flag.