A small team of seven girls and an even smaller team of five boys traveled to Mozambique to compete at the ISSEA 2020 Swimming, hosted by the American international school of Mozambique.
The team was accompanied by coach Ian, coach Chloe and chaperone Mr T.
Day one, the team walked onto the poolside in the morning , wondering what was in store for them as there were some much bigger teams and some very much bigger swimmers than the younger Leopards.
What a great start our AISL Leopards made in the very first event of the gala, the Mixed 200m Freestyle Relay, a bronze medal for Naveh, Nkhosi, Torrie and Tania.
Next up it was the Girls 800m Freestyle, a straight final, with Jade finishing third, Anna-Clara sixth and Rhona ninth putting our
AISL Leopards girls team at the top of the points table after two events. It was going to be hard work for the girls to keep the lead.
Next in the water was the Boys 800m Freestyle, a straight final, where Andrea just missed the bronze medal position, while Payton was eighth and Guiliano finished tenth, good points for the boys. Many heats of different events filled the remainder of the morning session, and the AISL Leopards all qualified for a final in the afternoon session which meant everyone was contributing to the team points score.
So following the cool-down, lunch, rest and a warm-up the Day one afternoon session of finals got under ay. It was time to make some noise and celebrate as Jade and Chibwe took gold, Victoria a bronze and the others getting good points in the finals. No medals for the boys in the afternoon session, but they did get points as finalists. By the end of the first day everyone was ready to sleep and recover from the effort of swimming several events.
Day two started with two straight finals. The AISL Leopards walked away with a silver medal for Jade in the Girls 400m Freestyle well supported by Anna-Clara 6th and Rhona 8th. In the Boys 400m Freestyle Andrea finished 4th, Payton 7th and Guiliano 11th.
The morning session continued with a series of heats where our Leopards all swam several events and qualified for the afternoon finals.
Again a cool-down, lunch, rest and a warm-up the Day two afternoon session of finals began. The points and medal collection mounted through the afternoon from the first event to the final relay, the Boys 200m Medley Relay, where Andrea, Payton, Naveh and Guiliano took the bronze medal holding off the challenge from the TWIGAS boys.
What an great end to the day, with the boys lying fifth on points and the girls third, very close to the top two teams.
Day three began with a bang as the AISL Leopards Andrea, Chibwe, Jade and Payton took the lead from the buzzer and dominated the Mixed 200m Medley Relay. “Go Leopards, go”. Qualification for the finals was tough, but everyone swam hard to ensure the Leopards had as many finalists as possible. A good job by everyone.
After a final cool-down, lunch, rest and a warm-up the Day three afternoon session of finals began.
The senior AISL swimmers stepped up onto the blocks and supported by the youngsters and walked away with golds, bronzes, silvers and loads of points. The excitement mounted as our girls were tussling with the Buffalos of Mozambique and the Twigas of Tanzania for the top position. It was coming down to the last long relay for the girls, the 400m Freestyle Relay. Wow did they do it, or did they do it? Lead out by Jade, Torrie, Anna-Clara and Chibwe grabbed the gold medal! As the excitement subsided and the points were tallied the girls realised that they were only three points behind the Tanzanians, so close to first place and yet second seems so far away.
The boys finished fifth, but they scored loads of points for a small team.
Well done Leopards, we are so proud to witness your competitive drive, your friendly spirit and your many personal best performances.
The ISSEA Swimming 2020 drew to a close and at the awards ceremony both the boys and the girls were awarded the “Fair Play Awards”. So cool!
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