Ugandans beat fatigue to claim open water medals

Tuesday December 3 2019

Smile for the camera. 14 and under girls’

Smile for the camera. 14 and under girls’ silver winner Swagiah Mubiru (L) and bronze medallist Sophia Nagayi (R) pose with Kenya’s winner Islam Ali Lubaina on the open water podium. PHOTO BY MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA 


Ugandan swimmers won four medals in the second edition of the Cana Zone III Open Water Championship held at Karen Waterfront – Nairobi on Sunday.

These came after the team of 28 had amassed 2,392 points in the swimming championship that ran from Thursday to Saturday at Kasarani Aquatic Centre to come second behind hosts Kenya (2,447.5 points).

Open water, held in the man-made water body at the Karen mall, attracted 19 swimmers – nine of whom were from Uganda. Ahura Ambala led the nine with gold in the 15 and over girls event that was 1,390m long.

Despite the chilly weather and “cold water” on the day, she returned home at 19.52.22 to claim the senior girls’ gold. She was keeping to form after being one of Uganda’s go-to girls in the mid-distance (800m, 400m and 200m freestyle) swimming events in the team’s first three Adnan Kabuye, who also managed 200m individual medley and 200m backstroke in the pool also got silver in the senior men’s open water event that was 5,000m long.

He finished at 42:33.07 over four minutes behind South Africa’s Refiloe Mashao (38:08.59) and was joined by teammates Mikka Kigundu (fifth at 45:16.41), Daryl Kyabayinze (seventh at 47:03.70) and Ampaire Namanya (47.12.04).
For the younger boys’ age group (14 and under), Hayyan Kisitu (20.32.37) claimed silver behind Kenya’s Ivan Heart.

For the girls, Swagiah Mubiru, who described the challenge as “okay” and also did the 400m free, 200 IM and 200 backstroke at Kasarani, finished second (21.49.64) just microseconds ahead of Sofia Nagayi (21.49.83) and Freda Nakafu Luzinda (22.00.98) – both of whom had brought Uganda loads of points and some medals in the mid-distance pool races.


Uganda now have the challenge of maintaining the open water competition after it was launched in Sudan last year.

Cana Zone III Championships

Open Water Results
15 and Over Boys – 3000m
No. Name Time
1. Refiloe Mashao (RSA) 38:08.59
2. Adnan Kabuye (UGA) 42:33.07
3. Aheer Chaterfee (KEN) 42:40.78
5. Mikka Kigundu (UGA) 45:16.41
7. Daryl Kyabayinze (UGA) 47:03.70
9. Ampaire Namanya (UGA) 47.12.04
15 and Over Girls – 1,390m
1. Ahura Ambala (UGA) 19.52.22
14 and Under Boys – 1,390m
1. Ivan Heart (KEN) 18.08.88
2. Hayyan Kisitu (UGA) 20.32.37
14 and Under Girls – 1,390m
1. Islam Ali Lubaina (KEN) 19.41.98
2. Swagiah Mubiru (UGA) 21.49.64
3. Sofia Nagayi (UGA) 21.49.83
4. Freda Nakafu Luzinda (UGA) 22.00.98