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Swimmer Sanele dreams of Olympics

Sports Section

By NTOKOZO MAGONGO - SWAZI TIMES-24-Jul-2010

MBABANE – Blue Whales swimmer Sanele Nhlabatsi is the most talked about sports personality in the country after snatching a bronze medal in the Africa Youth Games, in Morocco last week.

He won the bronze medal in 50m breastroke after a good perfor-mance against top swimmers mostly from well developed countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.

The 18-year-old U-Tech student said this was the beginning of good things. He talks to Swazi News Sports Reporter Ntokozo Magongo about his achievements.

Swazi News: Who is Sanele Nhlabatsi in less than 10 words? Sanele Nhlabatsi: A shy and very committed young man.

Swazi News: You made headlines last week when you won a bronze medal in Morocco during the Africa Youth Games, how did you feel? Sanele: It was a great experience for me as I had not expected to win a medal from such games. I was really shocked and happy at the same time.

Swazi News: So you say you were not expecting a medal, how were your preparations for the games? Sanele: My preparations were not good enough as it was winter in the country and the water was cold. I did not spend much time on the pool and that affected my performance. If I had trained well I could have done much better.

Swazi News: Anything about your coach Welcome Nhlabatsi. Sanele: He has been great to me. Since I was selected he has been giving me the best training and support. Iím happy that he will also be in charge of the Zone VI team to compete in the country in December.

Swazi News: What can you say about the coming Zone VI Games? Sanele: There is a lot that still needs to be done in preparing for the games. It will be great if we could be given the chance of using the Mavuso Sports Centre as there are few facilities in the country.

Swazi News: What needs to be done to develop the sport? Sanele: Focus needs to be given to the juniors as they are the future swimmers. They have to be taken to High Performance Centres and also be given enough training.

Swazi News: How is the reaction from your colleagues at school? Sanele: There is tension especially when you are from travelling but in most cases they congratulate me.

Swazi News: What are your great achievements in sports? Sanele: In think winning the bronze medal in Morocco was great for me. Now Iím looking forward to the Commonwealth Games and maybe the Olympic Games.

Swazi News: Tha-nks for your time and hope you continue shin-ing for the country. Sanele: Itís been my plea-sure.


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