RWANDA’s swimming sensational Jackson Niyomugabo endured a forgettable display on the opening day of the 10th Fina World Swimming Championships in United Arab Emirates after failing to progress past the 50m free style.
Despite finishing ahead of Conrad Gaira (Uganda), Adam David Kitururu (Tanzania) and Adama Ouedraogo (Burundi), Niyomugabo still finished a distant 114 in the overall standings after clocking 27.86 seconds.
Out of 130 contestants, only 16 swimmers reached the semi finals. Brazilian Cielo Filho Cesar was the overall winner after using 21.06 seconds; Nathan Adrien (USA) finished second (21.11seconds) while Bousquet Frederick from France secured third spot in a time of 21.12seconds.
Kent Manzi, Rwanda’s other contestant is expected to make her debut this morning. With a personal best of 38.39 seconds in the 50m free style, Manzi will compete against the likes of Morgane Faosite (Benin), Keanma Villagomez of Namibia, Rana Shaila from Nepal and Yanet Ethiopia’s Seyoum Gebremedhin.
Despite Niyomugabo’s poor start, swimming federation president Samuel Kinimba who accompanied the team to Dubai is confident the youngster will improve in Sunday’s 1500m free style event.
Niyomugabo, who featured at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, bagged four gold medals in the just concluded inaugural regional open swimming championship which was held at Kampala International School of Uganda (KISU).
His outstanding performances helped Rwanda finish third behind Uganda A and B sides. Kenya trailed in fourth place.
Top performers in Dubai will earn automatic qualification to the 2012 London Olympic Games.