KAMPALA. In the wee hours of today Selina Katumba and Fadhil Saleh made their debut at the ongoing 14th Fina World Short Course Swimming Championships in Hangzhou – China.
Later tonight (Thursday 4.30am) Nabil Saleh and and captain Avice Meya make their debuts too in the 50m freestyle and 100m individual medley respectively.
Nabil joins a host of household swimming names like Arnold Kisulo (2016), Elisha Tibatemwa (2014 and 2012), Ronald Daisuke and Conrad Gaira (2010) plus Olympians Ganzi Mugula (2012) and Gilbert Kaburu (2004) – who have all done this event at the Short Course Worlds.
However, Nabil can go one better by beating the 26.14 that Tibatemwa managed in 2014. No Ugandan swimmer has done better at an international short course event since but the Electric Eel swimmer has enough inspiration to break barriers.
Ambala Atuhaire and Tendo Mukalazi have done 24.86 and 24.88 at local championships this year while Nabil managed 24.55 and 24.84 at the Cana Zone IV Championships in Malawi and at a local event in South Africa respectively.
Meanwhile, Meya can summon some experience from three other world events at her first Short Course Worlds to beat her best time of 1:12.14 in the 100IM. She is the first female Ugandan to do this event that Gaira gave a go at during Istanbul 2012 managing 1:13.39.