By Sports Reporter
LEADING Zimbabwean swimmer Peter Wetzlar, failed to progress to the semifinals of the 100m freestyle competition despiote setting a new national record on his Olympic debut at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday.
The 24 year-old Wetzlar, who is now living and working in the United States, finished fifth in heat four in a time of 50:31 seconds, beating his previous national record time of 50:50 seconds which he set in 2019.
Although Wetzlar achieved a personal best time and a national record, it was not good enough for him to progress to the next round of the men’s 100m freestyle competition in Tokyo.
Wetzlar finished 42 out of 70 swimmers in the 100m freestyle and Tuesday’s race was his only appearance at the Tokyo Olympics. In order to qualify for the semis, Wetzlar needed to finish in the top 16 after the first round.
In a statement after the race, Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) congratulated Wetzlar for his commendable effort on his Olympic debut.
“Hearty congratulations to Peter on his #TOKYO2020 campaign. We celebrate your PB, national record and strong-willed representation and performance. Peter ranked 42 out of 70 and will not be proceeding to the next stage. The future is exciting. Greatest appreciation to Peter Weztlar’s coach, technical team and all behind the scenes support,’’ wrote ZOC.
Wetzlar’s performance comes after the country’s another swimming representative in Tokyo, 17-year old Donata Katai also impressed on her debut appearance at the Olympic Games.
Katai, who is still a schoolgirl at Gateway High School in Harare, won her 100m backstroke heat with a new personal best time of 1:02:73 on Sunday.
Nonetheless, Donata’s time was not good enough for the first black swimmer to represent the country at the Olympics to progress to the semifinals.