Husnah Kukundakwe feels “ready” to get going at the World Para-swimming Series in Sheffield - United Kingdom, where she takes part in the 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley (IM) today.
Although the swimmer is in Sheffied with the main aim of qualifying for the Paralympics due August in Tokyo - Japan in the 100m breaststroke, she has to start rebuilding her form from somewhere after over a year of no competition.
“We are here to race but also to take steps that will help us jump start the whole programme for her future,” coach Muzafaru Muwanguzi, who has already intimated that his athlete should be under no pressure to put up a stellar performance in Sheffield as she is only 14 years old, said.
The challenge today is to prepare the body for her main event tomorrow. Last time out in London in 2019, Kukundakwe posted 1:24.83 in the 100m free in the S9 classification group while she last did the 200m IM (SM9) in Nairobi in 2018 clocking 4:00.03. Muwanguzi will particularly be interested in the breaststroke leg of that medley.
The days spent in London so far have not been easy as the weather is biting cold while there are also strict Covid-19 restricitions to adhere to as Sheffield is under lockdown till April 12.
“Certainly, you want to move around and relax your mind but it is not possible. At the pool, the coach is shouting the instructions from the stand and you cannot see certain things properly,” says the swimmer, who is also short-sighted.
“But there are positives too as I have a whole lane to myself. And there is more time to focus my thoughts on swimming.”
Muwanguzi says its also helps the swimmer venture out on her own and build the performance that is required.