Harare — The Zimbabwe tertiary institutions' team returned home with their heads high after finishing third at the just-ended Confederation of Universities and Colleges Sports Association Games that took place in Botswana last week.
The team that comprised the best athletes from the country's universities, polytechnics and technical colleges hauled 16 medals from the nine disciplines they contested.
Zimbabwe were among eight countries that vied for medals in nine disciplines that included soccer, basketball, netball, volleyball, darts, chess, lawn tennis, athletics and table tennis.
South Africa dominated the biannual games, which feature all countries from the Sadc region, when they finished top of the medals table with 43 followed by hosts Botswana with 22 and Zimbabwe in third place.
Zimbabwe who finished just ahead of Malawi collected 16 medals in total. They had two gold medals in darts and javelin, three silver and 11 bronze from various disciplines. The darts team led by Kudzanai Nyemba of Chinhoyi University of Technology emerged the best team in the region after shrugging off the challenge of South Africa and Botswana.
Loveness Muchena scooped the other gold medal for Zimbabwe when she came first in the final of the women's javelin throw competitions.
Two of their three silver medals came from long distance races with Innocent Demba finishing second in the men's 10 000m race while Vongai Chamunorwa has the other medal in the women's 5 000m.
Pauline Mhondiwa contributed the other silver medal in the women's high jump. Bulawayo sprinter Nyasha Charandura collected two bronze medals from the 100m and 200m competitions. The women's darts team of Gladys Jekede, Primrose Nyakuwanikwa, Moreblessing Taderera and Sirimuna Simedi also collected bronze behind winners Botswana and South Africa. However South Africa dominated most of the events with 26 gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals.
Zimbabwe Tertiary Institutions Sports Unions president Alfred Rutanha commended the team for their performance. "There was high level team competitions and we put up a decent performance to collect 16 medals in all. Our darts team was superb especially with (Kudzai) Nyemba leading the throws. They really deserved the gold medal," said Rutanha.
The team, which comprised 140 athletes, returned home on Monday. About 2 000 university and college students from the region took part at the games.