Waddell accepts Olympic postponement

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Zane Waddell with the gold medal he won during the 2019 FINA Swimming World Championships in Gwanjy, Korea. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The men’s 50m backstroke world champion, Zane Waddell, has shared his views on the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games, which were meant to take place in Tokyo, Japan, later this year.

The Bloemfontein swimming sensation, Waddell, was set to debut at the Olympics in the Land of the Rising Sun, however, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the games have been postponed by a full year.

The 22-year-old Waddell, who claimed gold at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Gwangju, Korea, last year, was geared to debut at the Olympics later this year.

“With the Olympics being postponed by a year, I think it was absolutely the right decision to make in light of what is happening around the world right now.

“I think that is just best if everything gets shut down right now so that we can make way for the medical professionals, scientists and everyone working to fight the Coronavirus, just to make their lives and jobs easier.

“In terms of my preparations for the Olympics – I was a little bummed because of it being postponed by a year, but it is also a blessing in disguise.

“It does give me another year to tune in, carry on my improvement trajectory and in the end, hopefully, it does get me one step closer to that Olympic gold medal dream.

Waddell will complete his studies next month at the University of Alabama, and he is planning to stay on in the USA. – MORGAN PIEK