Rowing Association of Zim plans for the future RAZ currently are targeting the Under-19 World Championships scheduled for next year in Lithuania and the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Senegal in 2026.

Ellina Mlanga-Senior Sports Reporter

ROWING Association of Zimbabwe are looking at laying a firm foundation for their up-and-coming athletes to compete at major events. 

Exposure to more competitions, the association believes, will go a long way in providing the needed competition and experience. 

RAZ currently are targeting the Under-19 World Championships scheduled for next year in Lithuania and the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Senegal in 2026.

The YOG in Dakar, Senegal will mark the first time Africa hosts the elite sporting event for young people aged between 15 and 18. 

The association, last month had several of their juniors racing in various events at the South African National Rowing Championships where they put up encouraging performances. 

RAZ president Andrew Lorimer said they want to start laying the foundation now ahead of the major competitions. 

“The Rowing Association of Zimbabwe (RAZ) was delighted with these medal-winning results against strong competition in South Africa. 

“RAZ was pleased that all the athletes and coaches went to South Africa to gain the experience of racing at a big regatta. 

“It is only through hard training and regular racing experience that athletes will do well. 

“RAZ is preparing Zimbabwean athletes to race at the Under-19 Junior World Rowing Championships in Lithuania in August 2025 and at the Youth Olympics in Dakar, Senegal in 2026. 

“The Youth Olympics in Senegal will be the first time that Olympic events are being held on the continent of Africa and RAZ wants to do well at the rowing events being held at the Youth Olympics,” said Lorimer. 

Rowing has become one of the few sport codes that have been consistent in qualifying for the Olympic Games. 

They are one of the two sports codes that have so far qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after rower Stephen Cox made the cut at the Africa Olympic Qualification Regatta (AOQR)/Africa Rowing Championships in Tunisia last October. 

Having their juniors and youth as part of major competitions in their respective age groups could help with continuity and maintaining that consistency as they graduate to the senior level. 

“The South African National Rowing Championships is one of the largest rowing regattas in Southern Africa and it was attended by more than 500 rowing athletes from school, university, and adult rowing clubs from all over South Africa as well as the team from Zimbabwe. 

“The junior athletes from Zimbabwe were drawn from the Chisipite, Peterhouse, and St George’s school rowing clubs.”

Some of the rowers that had podium finishes are Tunga Chinhamo and Guy Annandale, who won a silver medal in the Junior Men’s Under-15 double scull while Catherine Munroe and Erin Liebenberg also got silver in the Junior Women’s Under-18 double scull event. 

The national association is hoping for more competitions as part of preparations so that their athletes gain the needed experience building towards the World Championships and YOG.

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