By Sports Reporter
ENGLAND-based Zimbabwean rower Stephen Cox has qualified a boat in the Men’s Single Sculls for next year’s summer Olympic Games in Paris after a strong showing at the African Rowing Championships in Tunisia.
Cox, who is a Lance Corporal in the British Army, grabbed one of five Olympic spots available for Africa through the continental qualification regattas, after placing fourth in the finals of the Men’s Single Sculls.
He finished with a time of 07:25:22, just 23:44 seconds behind the leading boat of Egypt’s Abdelkhalek Elbanna, who won the African title – repeating his performance from 2019, where he also won the African Qualification Regatta, en route to the Tokyo Olympics.
In second place was, Algeria’s Sid Ali Boudina, who qualified for this third Olympic Games while Mohamed Taieb (Tunisia) completed the podium places.
Harare-born Cox, who now resides in Henley-on-Thames, a town and civil parish on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England, finished fourth ahead of Andre Matias of Angola.
Reacting to his Olympic qualification in a post on Instagram, Cox said that “hard work does pay off” after he missed out on qualifying for the last summer Olympics in Tokyo.
He wrote: “An end to one hell of a season, but a great one. I managed to qualify for the Paris Olympics, hard work does pay off.
“Looking forward to an amazing holiday then back to work.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for all the support on this journey, without whom this wouldn’t be possible.”
The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) congratulated on his achievement.
“Congratulations to Steve Cox who qualified to compete in the Men’s Single Scull rowing event (“M1x”) at the Paris2024 Games, claiming the 4th spot from Africa at the combined Africa Olympic Qualification Regatta/Africa Rowing Championships held in Tunisia.”
The 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris will take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024.