By Emmanuel Amooti
With just a few days left before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games get underway, Uganda Swimming Federation President, Moses Mwase is confident their swimmers will shine at the international stage.
The Games are running from July 23 to August 8, 2021 and Uganda is fielding participants in the categories of boxing, rowing, swimming, athletics and weightlifting.
Swimming is providing two athletes; Kirabo Namutebi and Ambala Atuhaire who shall both be competing in 100 meter backstroke, free style and 50 meters.
Mwase said it was important for them to have their swimmers take part at the games.
“For any sport code Olympics and World Champs are the goals that are in everyone’s mind and on their radar. It is very important in promoting our sport and of course in the careers for the athletes and coaches who attend such events,” Mwase said
Uganda got two slots from FINA (international Swimming Federation) under the universality system and Mwase says the level of competition locally is the major drawback to attaining qualifying times.
He lamented that Uganda has talented athletes who have the potential to qualify, but the level of local competitions does not give them the “push” they need to achieve qualifying times.
He said: “Sadly, it means for our athletes looking outside our borders for exposure and the push for qualification and it is the scary reality. This also has financial implications of course.”
The duo will be guided by their Dolphins Swim Club coach, Muzafaru Muwanguzi, who also beat a pool of four coaches, to make it to his first Olympic Games.
Namutebi is currently in Kazan – Russia, in a FINA training camp, from where she will connect to Japan to find part of Team Uganda that left for Tokyo early in June.