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SWIMMING SENSATION LUCA E69K RICHER

MBABANE- Eswatini swimming sensation Luca Fraser will be smiling all the way to the bank after getting 10 medals at the recently-ended CANA Zone IV Championships in Luanda, Angola.

Eswatini Swimming Association (ESA) national team returned on Monday evening from Angola following a fruitful outing at the African Swimming Confederation (CANA Zone IV) Championships, which took place in Luanda. Talented Eswatini swimmers were able to get a total of 16 medals in the championship, with 12-year-old Luca Fraser stealing the show after winning the 10 medals in the showpiece. For his efforts, the youngster will get E69 000. The 12-year-old won seven gold medals, two silver and one bronze in the games held from May 3 to May 7, 2023.

According to a well informed source, the money the swimmer will earn is from the government’s financial incentives, which are a token of appreciation for international outstanding performances. “These are normally rewards based on a laid down policy developed by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, through the Eswatini Sport and Recreation Council (ESRC), which all sporting associations are aware of. Luca earned E8 000 for each gold; E5 000 per silver; and E6 000 for the two bronze medals, which means that the swimmer will walk away with E69 000 for his impressive performance,” said the source.

When the youngster was interviewed, he said he was happy with his performance. “Last year I went to Zambia and got three silver and this made me train harder  to start winning for gold medals. This year I got seven gold, two silver and one bronze. I’m really happy with my performance as I got PBs (personal bests), medals and the victor ladorum for my age group. “I’m also grateful to all the supporters that came to watch us swim in Angola. I’m very proud of myself for all my medals and trophy.  It has taken me years to get to this level of swimming. I have trained so hard and the hard work is now paying off and I will continue to make the country proud,” he added. Another swimmer expected to walk away with a substantial of money is the sensational 15-year-old Hayley Hoy, who walked away with four medals. Hayley was able to earn the country four medals in total (two gold and two silver). The youngster, who was a big winner last time in Zambia, walked away with E35 000 after winning six medals. Hoy is expected to receive E26 000 this time around.

Proud

ESA Secretary General (SG) Nozipho Mahlalela said all the swimmers made the country proud in Angola. “As an association we just want to thank EswatiniAir for an affordable, reliable, and safe mode of transport for our team.  A special appreciation to our coaches Welcome Nhlabatsi, Mark Hoare and Team Manager Bongiwe Dlamini,” she said. Mahlalela mentioned that they were proud of swimming coach Meluleki Simelane, who travelled with the team to officiate at the games. “We are also  proud of all our swimmers for their dedication and commitment which is commendable. This is the country’s best performance at CANA. The swimmers did well in hoisting the Eswatini flag,” she added. Team Eswatini returns from CANA Zone IV Championships with a total of 16 medals (nine  gold, five silver, two bronze) and 22 PB times in the competition. The event featured teams from around the region, compromising of boys and girls aged 11 and older in different categories.