Sports

Kenyan swimmers leave continental Games prematurely after lacklustre performance

Friday, March 15th, 2024 05:00 | By
Kenya’s Danilo Rosafio reacts after winning a heat for the men’s 100m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 27, 2021. PHOTO/PD Print

National swimming team manager Jeremiah Kahindo thinks the long ban by World Aquatics is part of the reason Team Kenya is yet to settle down even as they returned home empty handed from the ongoing African Games in Accra, Ghana.

Kahindo admitted that they were no match to the North Africa and South Africa teams who have invest heavily in the sports. The two regions have super training facilities and tap talent as young as three years old

“Teams like South Africa, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Algeria are on another wave length and we will need yo work hard to catch up with them.

“The long ban we had as a federation affected swimmers in all ways. I am talking about their performance, morale and pricking their ego. Previously, It has not been easy ncompeting under the neutral flag for that long. Things are now looking up and swimmers are starting to pick up,” he added.

He said from Accra, the next stop will be Africa Championships in Angola. “ This is equally a very important event because it is also a qualifier to the Olympic Games.”

He said for Kenya, the five swimmers who have already qualified for the Olympic Games will use the the Angola show to gather more points for Paris 2024.

“As it is, we have a pool of five swimmers who have already qualified and will be battling for two Olympic slots, which will be determined by points ranking. This means the more the points, the higher the chances of qualifying,” he revealed. He said only two of the Olympic qualifiers were in Accra for the All Africa Games with the other three opting to compete in Doha in February.

“Considering the Olympic Games are around the corner, the swimmers are threading with care to ensure they’re ready for Paris. The quartet of Stephen Ndegwa, Swaleh Talib, Sarah Mose and Amara Bella competed here in Accra but left the Championships empty handed.

However, Kihindo termed the performance a step in the right direction considering most of them improved their personal best times. He said Ndegwa was the best swimmer in men’s category after improving his times in three different events.

In the girls’ category, Imara stood shoulders above the rest by setting two personal best in 100m fly. Mose was equally impressive after reaching the final. He said Bella, Mohammed Rizwan, Maina Munyu, Emmily Muteti and Maria Brunlehner are already in the Olympic pool.

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