The five, swimmer Kirsty Coventry, athlete Ngonidzashe Makusha, tennis player Mbonisi Dzimande and women rowers Michelle Thorncroft and Jennifer MacKenzie are assured of representing Zimbabwe at 2012 Olympic Games according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee Anna Mguni.
Mguni said the five have Olympic qualifying times adding that there is still time for the other Zimbabwean athletes to improve on their times and performance to be considered for the Zimbabwean team.
She said they had picked athletes whom they feel had the potential to win medals.
Coventry, who has so far won seven medals for Zimbabwe, a gold, silver, and a bronze at the 2004 Athens Games, and a gold and three silvers at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, remains Zimbabwe’s biggest hope for medals at the games and in particular a gold in her best event the 200 metre backstroke.
Coventry holds the 200 metre backstroke world record of 2 minutes and five seconds.
Makusha missed out of a medal at the last Olympic Games just by a centimetre after finishing fourth just behind bronze medal winner South Africa’s Khotso Mokoena.
Mguni said the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee has put measures in place to give the picked athletes adequate preparations ahead of the global sports festival.
She said the theme was ‘going for gold’ as Zimbabwe seeks to add more gold medals to the three that the country has won since admission to international sport in 1980.
Apart from the two gold medals that Coventry has won, the other gold medal Zimbabwe boasts of is the one that the women’s hockey team won at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, the games of which were boycotted by a number of countries.