By Ricky Zililo
Bulawayo swimming sensation Denilson Cyprianos capped a fine year by breaking two national records when he clinched three bronze medals at the eighth edition of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Under-20 Games held in Gaborone, Botswana.
Competing with older swimmers from the region, Cyprianos, who turned 16 in October, broke the Zimbabwe records in the 200m backstroke, which he swam in two minutes 09.46 seconds to beat the old time of two minutes 10.40 seconds set by Brendon Ashby in July 2003.
Cyprianos, who also eclipsed a 24-year-old Matabeleland 1 500m freestyle record in the 16 to 17-year age group at the beginning of the month, set a new national record of 28.49 seconds in the 50m backstroke beating Peter Weslers’ time of 28.59 seconds set in 2013.
A jubilant Cyprianos, who arrived from Botswana yesterday, also swam a personal best time of one minute 00.45 seconds in the 100m freestyle. His previous best was one minute 01.02 seconds.
“I’m happy that I keep on improving with every outing and the fact that I managed to break the all-time Zimbabwean record, which was set 15 years ago when I was about a year old, is something that I’ll cherish for long.
“It is clear testimony of the amount of hard work that I put in. I have been training hard despite sitting for my O-Levels recently and I am glad the work that I put in has paid off,” said Cyprianos.
Zimbabwe won two silver medals and 11 bronze medals at the youth games’ swimming in Botswana. South Africa took most of the gold medals. The Chronicle