Gold, gold and more gold!
….take a bow for magnificent Team Eswatini
Seeing is believing! You had to be at the Lesotho High School to believe it was really happening.
Tears of joy were shed. They flowed like a river from officials and athletes alike. It was a historic moment; one to savour. It was a moment of a lifetime. A salient moment. It was a moment of a generation. It marked the dawn of an era for Eswatini. Yes, not one, not two but three gold medals in one night for the country in the ongoing African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games.
Remember these names. They will live for eternity. With iron ink these precious stones, these rare gems have inscribed their names with iron ink on the country’s Hall of Fame. Take a bow for Kimberley Dlamini minus 49 (gold medal), iHlelo Vilakati minus 42 (gold medal), Sifiso Dlamini minus 48 (gold medal) and Gcinumuzi Nxumalo (bronze).
At the time of going to press, other gold medal hopefuls were the likes of Veliswa Magaya (boxing) and Bafo Dladla (boxing). They had already qualified for the finals. Dladla won his scintillating semi final bout against a Malawian opponent 3-2.
Magaya on the other hand got a bye after her opponent from Botswana was disqualified.
The best performance on the night though was undoubtedly from the ‘invincible’ Kimberly Dlamini, who turned the game on its head in the last two rounds of her final match against an opponent from the host country, Lesotho. After starting on a rather shaky footing, which saw her trailing 11-0 by the end of the opening round, Dlamini defied the odds with a spirited comeback to stun everyone inside the packed hall.
She collected point after point in spectacular fashion with devastating kicks.
Team Athletics also arrived safely in Lesotho after being the last group to leave Eswatini for the games. They will also be the last to leave. The team will leave Lesotho back for Eswatini on Friday and should be in the country in the late evening. They deserve a hero’s welcome, surely. These girls and boys have done us proud. Indeed the future is bright for our sports. These kids have shown us that nothing beats hard work and determination. The fact that most members of Team Eswatini did not have adequate time for preparations, did not deter these amazing kids. The COVID-19 pandemic, which left a trail of destruction, greatly compromised our athletes preparations. We are overtly proud that we already have three gold medals and one bronze in the bag and still counting. We could not have asked for more from our team.
All our efforts as the Eswatini Sport and Recreation Council (ESRC) are now bearing fruit. It is the start of great things to come for our sports.
We cannot thank our recognised National Sports Associations enough. We are grateful to them for always doing all they can. Our associations can bask in glory. They deserve it. Special mention to the Taekwondo family for hoisting our flag sky high.
Strict COVID-19 protocols in Lesotho
The Region 5 Youth Games currently hosted by Lesotho are being played under strict COVID-19 protocols.
So tough are the rules and regulations that there is mandatory testing done after every three days.
Every athlete and official is expected to produce results in competition venues and in the respective Games Village when entering the dining areas.
The teams are also camped in different games villages. Each sporting code is based where that particular sport is competing. The organisers are doing all they can really with so many people participating in the games. We will continue praying to the Almighty God to protect our children from the virus. The nation should also be united in prayer, as our team fights for honours.
Until next week, Shu…Shukuma Eswatini!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The secret is to have eight great players and four others who will cheer like crazy.” – Jerry Tarkanian