Kabuye, Katemba persevere in open water debut

Adnan Kabuye with coach Muzafaru Muwanguzi.

Ugandan swimmers Adnan Kabuye and Karimah Katemba are happy with their debuts at the World Championships despite not recording official times in the open water swimming competition held at Lupa Beach in Budapest, Hungary.

In short videos shared by Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) president Moses Mwase, Katemba says her "first time doing opening was a nice experience, I had fun," while Kabuye said "it was enjoyable and I hope to do it again next time."

The men's 5km swim in the lake, which involved going around the course in three laps before a 200m stretch to the finish, was won by Germany's Florian Wellbrock in 52 minutes, 48 seconds and 80 microseconds (52:48.80).

Enjoyable course

The rules allow for each of the other 62 participants to report to the finish line within 15 minutes after the first finisher had touched home.

It did seem a relatively good course as 45 swimmers finished under one hour while 52 finished under the allowed time limit of 1 hour, seven minutes, 48 seconds and 80 microseconds (1:07:48.80).

Another nine including Kabuye finished too but were over the time limit while two did not turn up for the race.

For the women, Katemba had to report within 1:12:52.90 - 15 minutes after Brazilian winner Ana Marcela Cunha's stopped the clock at 57:52.90.

The women also enjoyed the course as 51 of them finished under the time limit with just four over it. Only one did not start.

Way forward

Ugandan swimmers usually have an hour or two per day in the pool to practice. On a good day that could be stretched to four if they can swim both in the morning and evening. 

The usual maximum load for them would be up to 5,000m (5km) but to do open water swimming in a big way, they will definitely require more.

Kabuye said he "got big lessons to bring back home," but certainly one of them will be to convincing his coaches and USF to make programs tailormade for open water swimmers.


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