What you need to know:
- Kukundakwe hardly ever competes in the 100m free but her mother and manager Hashima Batamuriza said the swimmer was up for anything after qualifying for the Commonwealth Games
Ugandan para-swimmer Husnah Kukundakwe, 15, is a girl of many firsts and will hope that her feats continue at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this afternoon.
Kukundakwe became the first swimmer to qualify on her own merit for an international meet when she made the Tokyo Paralympics grade last year.
Earlier, this year, Kukundakwe became the first swimmer to win international medals when she bagged 100m butterfly (S9) and 100m breaststroke (SB8) youth category bronzes at the World Series in Italy.
Now, there is another humongous task in Birmingham, where only nine para-swimmers including Kukundakwe have entered the 100m freestyle S9 event; three from Australia, two from New Zealand, plus one from each of Scotland, Canada and hosts England.
Kukundakwe hardly ever competes in the 100m free but her mother and manager Hashima Batamuriza said the swimmer was up for anything after qualifying for the Commonwealth Games.
Kukundakwe also needs the racing after missing last month’s World Championships in Portugal.
Of the nine swimmers, Kukundakwe, who swims in the second of two heats, has the lowest entry time of 1:18.59 made in Italy and will need to swim the race of her life to make it to the finals. If she does, she will be the first Ugandan swimmer to qualify for a final in an international meet.
Namutebi, Atu go for time
It is a busy morning for the Ugandan swimmers as Kirabo Namutebi, 17, will also chase her 33.25 personal best (PB) and national record (NR) in the women’s 50m breaststroke.
Namutebi, who swims in heat 4 of 5, is in competitive mode as she eased through her competition at the National Championships held almost a fortnight ago while she will also be meeting some of the swimmers she competed with at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary last month.
Ambala Atuhaire, 21, returns to the national team a year after his Olympics debut in Tokyo and will try to lower his 1:02.90 PB in the men’s 100m backstroke.
Atu, as he is commonly known, has the best entry time in the first of five heats and will need to focus on the clock to lower his time.
AT A GLANCE
Name: Husnah Kukundakwe
School: Aga Khan Secondary School
Biggest meets: World Series in
Singapore and Kenya,
World Championships in London
Manager: Hashima Batamuriza
Current Long Course Times:
100m freestyle: 1:24.85
100m breaststroke: 1:57.84
100m freestyle: 1:07.33
100m breaststroke: 1:37.44