Swimming sensation Katai joins defending Ivy League champions Princeton University

Donata Katai shows one of her gold medals during the AUSC Region 5 Youth Games in Malawi in December last year.

Zimbabwean Olympian Donata Katai is set to continue her promising swimming career in the US after securing a scholarship with Princeton University.

Princeton women’s swimming and diving team, who are popularly known as the Princeton Tigers are the defending Ivy League champions.

Katai is one of the two new international swimmers on their roster alongside Ukraine’s Kamila Isaieva.

They will join South Africa’s Dakota Tucker and Veronique Rossouw and American swimmers Mary McKenna, Eleanor Sun, Edie Simecek, Grace Black, and Hayley Clark on the Princeton Tigers’ roster.

Katai, who attended Gateway High School in the capital represented her country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as a 17-year-old two years ago, winning her heat of the 100 back with a PB of 1:02.73.

She was hailed as the first black swimmer from Zimbabwe to participate in the Olympics. En route to Tokyo, she won African youth national titles and broke youth records once held by two-time Olympic champion Kirsty Coventry, Africa’s most decorated Olympian.

Katai has also represented Zimbabwe at the 7th FINA World Junior Championships in 2019, where she swam the 50/100 back and 50 fly; the 19th FINA World Championships in June 2022 (50/100 back); and 16th FINA World Short Course Championships (50/100 back).

Most recently, she competed at the South African National Senior Championships, competing in the 50/100 back and 50/100 fly.

She made the final in both backstrokes (9th and 15th, respectively) and earned PBs in the 50/100 fly.

Her best Long Course Meters (LCM) times are:

50 back – 29.81 (26.31)

100 back – 1:02.73 (55.43)

50 fly – 29.19 (25.66)

100 fly – 1:06.37 (58.53)


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