Swimming: Team Uganda heads to Tunis with expectation

Sunday September 8 2019

Toolit highly rates the Serena course but is

Toolit highly rates the Serena course but is worried about the green fees. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO 


Uganda Swimming Federation has hardly ever sent out a team with a lot of expectation. Yet in a way, anyone would feel that the 12-man team heading out to Tunisia for the September 9-15 Africa Junior Championships today has got to perform.
There is always hope that the teams sent out to this competition would have someone emulate Rebecca Ssengonzi, who in 2015 became the first Ugandan swimmer to win medals at a continental event – obtaining bronze in the 400 individual medley and silver in the 100m butterfly.
The 2017 team didn’t but if you’re a bold punter, you can stick out a hand for Kirabo Namutebi - fresh from breaking the 50m freestyle national record - at the Fina World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
In Budapest, she ranked 38th out of 102 swimmers but the only African swimmer that beat her was South Africa’s medal hopeful Aimee Canny (25.48).
A quick scan shows that the North Africans skipped Budapest but Namutebi is confident of lowering her 26.98 personal best and yes, “getting a medal,” in one of her six events. Kenya-based Daryl Kyabayinze could also eye one in open water. After all he won a silver medal while representing the country in Cana Zone IV Championships in Namibia in February.
Captain Ben Kaganda and coach Joseph Kabogoza collectively believe that everyone in their individual capacity is a shoo-in for personal bests.