The 13-year-old joined the 20-member Malawi squad at the Zimpeto Swimming Pool on Monday from South Africa where she had been training at the High Performance Centre (HPC). The rest travelled by road from Malawi last Saturday.
According to Aquatic Union of Malawi (AUM) national coach Yona Walesi, Tafatathaâ€™s achievement did not come as a surprise.
“Joyce [Tafatatha] copes well in shorter distances. Last year, she also did it during the national championships when she broke the record of the 50 metres freestyle event. At 13, she is the current record holder of the freestyle event as she completed the race in 28.55 seconds, outsmarting Jessie MacLeanâ€™s 2009 record by 0.09 seconds,” said Walesi.
But he said he is hopeful that the other local swimmers, who had a week-long camp at the African Bible College and Bishop Mackenzie High School in Lilongwe before leaving for Mozambique, would also win medals in the three-day competition.
The local squad, which has Charlton Nyirenda as captain in the menâ€™s section and Kaitline Harthoorn in the womenâ€™s side, is competing against athletes from hosts Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, the Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and guest participants from India.