LOCAL swimming athletes are engaged in intensive preparations ahead of the Africa Zone III and IV championships scheduled for April 24-27 in Kampala, Uganda.
Fifteen swimmers will lead Rwanda’s surge for medals at the championship organised by African Swimming Confederation (Cana) as a qualification mark for Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow Scotland in July this year.
Head coach Isiah Kwizera told Times Sport yesterday that the team has gone into the final phase of preparations and he believes Rwanda will bag many medals at the championship.
“We are left with only one week 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 next week. We have picked the best young athletes from different clubs,” Kwizera said.
The team which is training twice a day at Cercle Sportif in Rugunga is comprised of nine male and six female swimmers, taking part both in the long and short swimming distances.
The national team includes Claude Iradukunda [100m freestyle], Orsola Rwabukwandi [50m breaststroke], Eloy Imaniraguha [50m & 100m butterfly], Patrick Rukundo [50m freestyle & butterfly] and Isiaq Irankunda [50m butterfly & freestyle].
Others are: Mehboub Shantiyar [50m freestyle], Beijing Olympic athlete Jackson Niyomugabo [400m freestyle], double Olympic athlete Agahozo Alphonsine [50m freestyle], Babu Gatete [50m freestyle], and Janvier Uwimana [50m & 100m breaststroke].
Rwanda is among 24 countries that have confirmed participation in the championship to be held at Kampala Parents School in Uganda.
In the past three or so years, local swimmers have been competing in major international competitions, including the Olympic Games, but none of them has managed to clinch a medal so far.
Besides Rwanda and hosts Uganda, the other countries that have confirmed their participation in the Cana Zone 111 and 1V Championships in Kampala are Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Djibouti, all from Zone 111.
Those from Zone IV are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland and South Africa.