Rwanda: Swimming Team Intensify Preps for Cana Tournament

22 December 2020

The National swimming team is in a residential camp preparing for the Africa Zone III championships scheduled for March 1-5 in Kampala, Uganda.

Thirteen swimmers will lead Rwanda's surge for medals at the championship organized by African Swimming Confederation (Cana) as a qualifier for All African Games slated for Ghana in 2023.

The President of Rwanda Swimming Federation, Pamela Girimbabazi told Times Sport on Monday that the team has gone into the first phase of preparations and believes Rwanda has the potential to win medals at the championship.

"We are left with only two months and I can say that all is going on well as planned. The swimmers are well prepared and I am sure Rwanda will stage a triumphant performance in Kampala. We have picked the best young athletes from different clubs," Girimbabazi said.

In January this year, retired swimmer Pamela Girimbabazi was elected president of the local swimming governing body, becoming the first woman to head a sports federation in Rwanda.

The team is being coached by Jimmy Ndoli at la Golden Tulip Hotel in Nyamata where they train daily. The athletes were tested for Covid-19 before entering camp.

Girimbabazi represented the country three times in the Olympic Games - the only swimmer to ever do so - between 2004 and 2008 before retiring.

At the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece, she finished 48th in women's 100m breaststroke after clocking 1:50:39 before switching to 50m freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Games where she used 39 seconds and 78 microseconds to finish in 88th position.

The swimmers who are in camp include Isiaka Irankunda, Eloi Maniraguha, Amini Harindimana, Alex Kamali, Cédric Niyibizi, Chris Noah Mana, Eric Iradukunda, Claude Dusabe, Alphonsine Agahozo, Zinila All Wahidah, Claudette Ishimwe, Yvette Iradukunda, and Louise Irafasha.

However, Rwanda Cycling Federation has clubs like Cercle Sportif de Karongi, Rubavu sporting club, Visiona Jeunesse Nouvelles, Gisenyi beach Swimming club, Rwamagana Swimming club canoe, and Rwesero Swimming Club.

pkamasa@newtimesrwanda.com

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