Uganda might not yet be at the stage of competing for medals but swimmers are increasingly taking part in more than just sprint events at international meets.
Ambala Atuhaire had a feel of mid-distance swimming at the Commonwealth Youth Games in July 2017 and Fadhil Saleh will follow the lead when he takes part in the 200m freestyle at the 14th Fina World Short Course (25m) Championships due December 11-16 in Hangzhou – China.
Fadhil also has the 100m free and will be joined by twin brother Nabil, who holds the country’s hopes in the 50m free and 50m butterfly events. Nabil has an exciting 24.55 seed time in the 50 free while his 27.28 in 50 fly is slightly better than the 27.35 Arnold Kisulo managed at these championships in 2016 in Windsor – Canada.
Kisulo’s sister Selina Katumba falls into the big shoes exited not only by her brother but also Olympian Jamila Lunkuse. Lunkuse was the ‘go-to girl’ in the 50m and 100m freestyle events for a long time.
Unfortunately, Lunkuse pulled out of Doha 2014 with an ankle injury while Anthea Mudanye went for 50m and 100m breaststroke and fly events in Canada. But Lunkuse, going by times at local events, was capable of going under 28 seconds and under one minute in the 50m and 100m free respectively.
Avice Meya, a seasoned national swimmer since 2013, completes the Abel Ddamulira-coached team and will take part in the 100 individual medley, probably a first for a Ugandan swimmer at this level, and in 100 fly.
The team was selected from a pool of 14 swimmers that took part in the Cana Zone IV Championships, Africa Youth Games and USF National Championships among others. Swimmers’ availability and closeness to Fina’s B qualification times per event was also considered.