Four new swimming athletes from African continent joined FINA Development team in Kazan.

Four new swimming athletes from African continent joined FINA Development team in Kazan.

Four new swimming athletes from African continent joined FINA Development team in Kazan.

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Four new swimming athletes from African continent joined FINA Development team in Kazan.
The first half of April for the FINA Development swimming team is not only a joint training camp with the Moscow team and the Russian Nationals, in addition to these two significant events, the team was replenished with four new athletes from the African continent.

The first athlete to arrive was Jonathan Chung Yee from Mauritius. The 22-year-old athlete specializes in breaststroke. And the most remarkable thing is that he arrived in Kazan right before the Russian Championships, and managed to take part in the distances of 100 and 200 meters breast. Despite the fact that in 2 days before the long flight, he had to go to the start, he swam well, which indicates his combat readiness for a new serious training process in the FINA development team.

Jonathan himself shared his expectations about joining the FINA Scholarship Program, as well as about Russia and Kazan in general:

"I see myself taking part in a programme helping me to achieve an effective growth in all the aspects of swimming; physically, psychologically, technically and so on. Being in conditions that will allow me to reveal my maximum potential, both in sports and personal areas. I want to thrive not only during training but also in competitions. I love challenges and looking forward to compete with my teammates as well, it is great that we have same goals and same ambitions, moreover we are all in the team on the pretty same level, so it becomes the best environment for growing as an athlete.

What for expectations about Russia, I expected it to be very cold, but it wasn't so. I guess that coming in Spring season changed my mind. And for sure I expect from Kazan more smiles and warmth, and everything is still ahead."

The second athlete who arrived during the Russian Championship was the representative of Namibia – Ronan Watenaar. A young athlete who specializes in Individual Medley, and is already looking forward to the start of a new training process.

After a week at the FINA Development program, Ronan shared his opinion about the atmosphere and the team in particular:

"So far, I'm not thinking about anything other than how to qualify for the Olympics. Indeed, the atmosphere here turned out to be such that everything is conducive to a serious training process. I have known several current scholarship athletes from Africa before, but I have never had a chance to talk to them personally.

After arriving, I had a good chat with Salvador Gordo (Angola), who helped me to join the team smoothly, telling me all the nuances about accommodation, food, and so on.

And so over the past week, in addition to the Russian championship, I fell in love with our cafe "Cream Coffee", where we periodically go with the team for breakfast and lunch. I still have a lot to learn and see, so I can't wait to start training in the Aquatics Palace".

And just four days ago, we were joined by athletes from Uganda: Tendo Mukalazi and Kirabo Namutebi, who made a long journey to Kazan.

So far, they are just getting used to the climate and atmosphere of the "Universiade Village", and only today they managed to get acquainted with their team, as well as the coaching staff. They attended the morning training session for the first time, but so far only in an introductory mode.

Tendo is an 18-year-old swimmer who specializes more in short distances (freestyle, backstroke). He told us about his expectations for joining the team of the FINA Development Center:

"Of course, most of all I expect to get close to my qualifying results. Well, in addition to swimming, I would very much like to get to know Russian culture better, and maybe even learn Russian. Before coming here, I knew Eloi Maniraguha from Rwanda, who kindly shared his opinion about the FINA Center in Kazan.

It is a pity that I could not come earlier, because I really wanted to meet with the stars of world swimming from Russia, especially with Kliment Kolesnikov. And so, I am sure that there will still be an opportunity to fully plunge into Russian life…».

Second representative of Uganda is Kirabo. A very young athlete – she is only 16 years old, but despite this fact, she is very motivated to succeed.

She shared about her first days in Russia:

"Today I've visited training session first time and I'm so happy about it, can't wait to start working with the new coaches.

As it is, I know that here in Kazan in August will be the World Junior Swimming Championships, where I will definitely take part, and I hope to approach this start in the best conditions. Among Russian athletes, I really like Yulia Efimova and Andrey Minakov, their hard work and talent motivate me so much"

All four new scholarship holders are already charged to hard training, all conditions for this are created, and we expect to see the improvements of our talented athletes.

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