THE Rowing Association of Zimbabwe (RAZ) has announced their first-ever para-rowing set to participate at the Rio Paralympic Games Qualification Regatta to be held in Gavirate, Italy, from April 21 to 23. BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
RAZ chairman Miles Trustham yesterday told NewsDay Sport he expected a good performance from the selected team.
“We are really grateful to announce the athletes to the first-ever Zimbabwe para-rowing squad and we expect the best from them. The squad, which is made up of a mixed coxed four crew, will be coached by Rachel Davis, who is also the technical director for the Rowing Association of Zimbabwe. We would also like to commend her for taking the initiative to start the development of para-rowing in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Trustham said the squad would initially take part in a pre-tournament training camp in Gavirate from April 11 before their participation in the Rio Paralympic Games Qualification Regatta.
“We want to congratulate these courageous men and women and wish them the best in Italy and in their future endeavours. We have the potential to conquer the world, but this can only be transformed into reality if we appreciate that nothing beats preparation,” he added.
He said the association was satisfied with the calibre of athletes whom he thinks have the potential to rank among the best in the world.
The five-member para-rowing squad will be aiming to emulate top Zimbabwean rowers Micheen Thornycroft and Peter Purcell-Gilpin, who have already qualified for the Rio Olympic Games.
Zimbabwe para-rowing squad
Men: Takudzwa Gwariro and Previous Wiri
Women: Margret Bangajena, Chipo Zhento and Jessica Davis (coxswain).