Swimming: Phiri makes historic Commonwealth Games debut as Naidu grabs win
TEAM Zambia shrugged off a rough start at Commonwealth Games with an improved performance on the second day.
Swimmer Kumaren Naidu who took to the waters in the morning alongside fellow team-mate Zach Moyo produced a heat winning performance when he raced to victory in the men’s 100 metres breaststroke category.
In a race including Mubal Azzam Ibrahim of the Maldives and Alex Lake of Anguilla, it was Naidu who swim the fastest with a time of 1:11:79 seconds, Moyo who was in close second place timed 1:12:83 seconds.
16-year-old Jade Phiri was also on hand to grab home some headlines for herself.
Making her debut at the Commonwealth Games, Phiri timed 28.16 seconds in the women's 50 metres freestyle on her way to a second place finish behind Guernsey's Orla Rabey in Heat 3.
Phiri, who boasts great experience participating in junior swimming competitions for the country has already spoken about the excitement of making her debut at the Club Games.
“This is my first Games at this level, so obviously I’m quite young going into this and the main thing is experience. Obviously I want to be back in the future but swimming the best I can and make some personal bests.”
Tilka Paljk made a strong comeback from the woes of day one as she settled for fourth place on 27:94 seconds in the fourth heat in a race won by Mauritius' Alicia Kimberely Kok Shun.
None of the swimmers made it to the semi-finals, but for coach Ian Stephenson, it was a proud moment for his athletes.
"Yes we are way off the pace in making the semi-finals, and finals, but we don't view it as “poor performances. We walk away proud, knowing that we are Zambia’s fastest athletes in this discipline,".