2020 Olympics: Uganda's Ambala finishes 7th in 100m freestyle heat

Tuesday July 27 2021

Swimmers compete in a heat for the men's 100m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 27, 2021. PHOTO/AFP

By Makhtum Muziransa

Ugandan swimmer Atuhaire Ogola Ambala finished seventh in third of nine heats in the competitive 100m freestyle event held July 27 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan.

The swimmer stayed with the crowd- posting a 25.44 split after the first 50m but slightly lost ground to finish the event with a time of 54.23 seconds.

 Ambala’s pride will be hurt a bit as he was beaten by the heat’s winner and Kenyan entrant Rosafio Danilo (52.54). Burundi’s Belly-Cresus Ganira came eighth with 54.33.

 The Ugandan’s personal best and entry time was the impressive 53.89 national record he made at the World Championships in Gwangju – South Korea in 2019 to earn a universality slot in Tokyo.

But a lot has changed since as the world was hit by Covid-19 – a disease Ambala also had to battle three weeks to today’s race – thereby disrupting his training and build-up competitions to the Olympics.


D-Day in the pool. Ambala made his Olympic bow in the 100m freestyle Heat today. PHOTO/FILE


Prior to today, he had competed just once in almost two years – at the Cana Swim Camp held in South Africa, where he managed 54.59 in the finals.

Ambala, however, came with some added pressure as no Ugandan had attempted the 100m free at the Olympics since female swimmer Supra Singhal managed 1:08.15 21 years ago at Sydney 2000.

The last male swimmer to try it out was Daniel Mulumba (1:07.86) in 1984.