Uganda: Kukundakwe Earns Spot At Tokyo Paralympics

Ugandan para-swimmer Husnah Kukundakwe has qualified for the 2020 Paralympics due August 24 - September 4 in Tokyo, Japan.

This follows her formidable performance in the women's 100m breaststroke earlier today at the World Para-swimming Series that is running at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield - United Kingdom.

Kukundakwe clocked 1:36.31 (with a split of 44.08) to beat the 1:37.44 minimum entry time (MET) for the Paralympics.

Her neck-to-neck race with Great Britain's Alice Tai, in the first of three heats, pushed Kukundakwe to finishing the first 50m in a commendable 44.08 seconds.

The Ugandan swimmer powered away to finish the back-end in just over 50 seconds to also beat the 1:57.44 she had posted at the World Series in Singapore in early 2019.

"I am very happy that I beat the time because I was a bit worried about the time difference (from 1:57.44 to 1:37.44)," Kukundakwe said.

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"My mum has been all over the place looking for money to make this happen. And my coach put a lot of dedication and trust in me. So I am also happy that I did not let them down."

She becomes the first Ugandan para-swimmer to qualify on her own merit for the Games and will be the second to take part after Prossy Tusabe, who went to Sydney 2000 and competed in the S10's 100m freestyle posting 2:12.45.

Before going to Sheffield, where she also posted two personal bests in the 100m free (1:24.24) and 200m individual medley (3:24.24) yesterday, Kukundakwe had last competed over a year ago.

Her pool inactivity is attributed to the suspension of sports due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

But her dedication to physical activities during the lockdown has ensured there is no 'rust' in her performances in Sheffield thus far.

Tomorrow, she will swim in the 50m freestyle event with an aim of lowering her personal best 38.14.

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