KAMPALA. About 500 swimmers from within Uganda and Kenya took part in the third edition of the Dolphins Junior Gala at GEMS Cambridge International School over the weekend.
Bar a few stroke infractions that can be challenging to nail down in the formative years of training for swimmers, the athletes competed well individually but Dolphins numbers meant they would easily defend their boys and girls titles.
The big question, however, is on how many of these will stay in the sport for the long haul. And that the 11years age group had relatively fewer swimmers than other age categories is a sign of continuity challenges that this aquatic sport faces.
The hosts and defending champions relied on usual suspects; Pendo Kaumi, Zaabu Kyabayinze, Michelle Sine, Karimah Katemba – all 11, Jordan Ssamula, 10 and Shalom Birungi, 8 among others as their girls and boys garnered a whopping 529 and 543 points respectively.
Some of their other swimmers like Luzinda Mugalu, Kiggundu Ssango and Paloma Kirabo showed they will forces to reckon with in the near future.
As usual, the hosts where rivalled by Silverfin, Seals and Sailfish for points but the clubs with smaller numbers of swimmers competed favourably too.
Seven year old Zara Mbanga stood out for Vine Grace exchanging leads for various races with Silverfin’s Aryiel Angemi.
Altona’s Abigail Mwagale also pushed her Dolphins counterpart Birungi to the edge and eventually topped the eight year old girls’ age group with 34 points. But Birungi (31 points) did make her statement in the 25m freestyle.