The swimming competitions at the Olympics are almost over, there is only the last day left, where there will be only finals. But for our unique, multinational team, the most important sports holiday has already ended yesterday.
This Olympics in Tokyo carried a very important message for all mankind that sport has the ability to help solve global challenges, since staging competitions in this difficult time requires special courage and mobility, in addition, there are hopes that the world is gradually returning to normal life. Almost all countries of the world were represented in Japan.
Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are definitely the most unusual and at the same time, the most difficult games in recent times. The coronavirus infection did not allow us to fully enjoy the atmosphere of the Olympics, where the stands are crowded and a holiday reigns throughout the city.
But even despite this, these Summer Games remain special for our FINA Development Center in Kazan, because 8 swimmers were able to proudly represent their countries, swim, showing that nothing is impossible, and most importantly, become part of this international event.
Luis Vega Torres (Cuba)
1) 400 meters Individual medley – 4:27.65
29th place in this distance in the preliminary heats.
It is safe to say that the focus on preparing for the Olympics was not for this distance, although looking at the time, it was not enough 2 seconds to his PB.
2) 200 meters butterfly – 1:59.00
31st place in the preliminary heats. This distance allowed Luis to qualify according to the B standard, 0.7 hundredths was not enough before his repetition, but the complicated program of the competition made itself felt, but Luis swam two hardest distances at the Olympics – this is already a great achievement that he wants to improve next 3 years before Paris.
Luis shared his opinion on the results of his two competitive days:
"Of course, before my flight to Japan, I had a lot of grandiose plans, but now I can say with confidence that I will remember this experience for the rest of my life. I can say that I did not perform as much as I would like, but I strictly believe that in the near future I will perform much stronger, I promise.
Now I can already be grateful to my coaches for the fact that they prepared me very well for the Olympic Games, and most importantly for the completed "B" qualification standard. Thank you!"
Habibat Ogunbanwo (Nigeria)
1) 100 meters freestyle – 0:59.74
48th place in the preliminary heats and a nice bonus in the form of the first place in her heat.
But the Nigerian athlete fulfilled the main task for herself perfectly, she was able to overcome the milestone under 1 minute, which no Nigerian girl had ever submitted to until that moment.
This result is already a great reason for pride, and after all, she is only 17 years old and has a whole future ahead of her. The FINA Center team already has the first new national record in the collection, as well as the best personal time.
Salvador Gordo (Angola)
100 meters butterfly – 0:55.96
The result is very close to its best, 0.4 seconds were not enough, but in turn, Salvador and the team's coaches were satisfied with the result, given that the athlete arrived almost close to his start, and there was little time to prepare in the new time zone. As a result, there was the first victory in his swim, which brought a lot of positive emotions.
Salvador also shared his opinion about the Olympic Games in Tokyo and about dreams that have come true:
"It's been a long journey since I've started this Olympic qualification campaign, exactly 7 years since I left my home to chase this dream and it's still hard to believe it to be honest, my main mission accomplished, I've competed on the Olympic games at such young age which is a huge honour, yet my ambition doesn't stop here.
The Olympics are not only about sport and competitions, to me it's a lot more. It is a reflection of the uniqueness of the world and how we can put our differences aside in order to share this great experience and showcase our talents to the world. And most importantly to inspire younger generations to achieve their goals not only in sports but to influence it into their day to day lives and careers. Sport has the power to make real change in the world.»
Abeku Jackson (Ghana)
100 meters butterfly – 0:53.39
43rd place at the Olympics. A new National record of Ghana, set by himself at competitions in Croatia, as well as a victory in his heat, where he was opposed by very strong swimmers. But the results were very tight, which most likely allowed Jackson to show a very strong time. The coaching staff appreciated his performance above all praise, in addition to winning the swim, a new national record – he became a real idol for the younger generation of swimmers from West Africa.
Well, on the final day of the competition, where there were preliminary heats, four of our athletes got a unique chance to show themselves in the Tokyo Olympic Pool.
Kirabo Namutebi (Uganda)
50 meters freestyle – 0:26.63
The 47th place in the preliminary stage out of 84 participants is a very serious result for a very young Kirabo, who is only 16 years old. Already at this age, she proudly represented her country, moreover, with a new national record and an improvement of the previous result by 0.4 seconds in a month.
Bisma Khan (Pakistan)
50 meters freestyle – 0:27.78
56th place in the preliminary stage. She completed her program at the FINA Center in June of this year, but she trained for more than 2 years and over the years was able to improve her time by more than 2 seconds, as a result, she approached the Tokyo Olympics in her optimal form and set a new record for Pakistan, which also belonged to her. Congratulations to the graduate of our program on such a serious achievement.
Fahim Anwari (Afghanistan)
50 meters freestyle – 0:27.67
69th place in the preliminary heats. But the most important achievement is the new best personal time, which was very long-awaited, especially at the Olympic Games. Fahim himself admitted that he fulfilled his life dream and proudly represented his country at the sports festival.
Eloi Maniraguha (Rwanda)
50 meters freestyle – 0:25.38
55th place in the preliminary heats.
The last time he set a new record at the competition in Dubrovnik, but this time he was 0.03 seconds short of repeating it, but we can say with confidence that Eloi is in optimal shape and he managed to maintain it during the Olympic cycle.
Following the results of the swimming campaign at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the team of the FINA Development Center:
- managed to set 4 new national records.
- 5 new Personal bests.
- to win the hearts of millions of swimming fans, because all the preliminary heats were broadcast live on almost 200 sports TV channels in the world.
The Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 will be remembered forever. From the one-year delay to the ever-looming uncertainty about the games that still took place, it was a difficult journey for all athletes.
The Covid-19 pandemic, long lockdowns, long flights and inconsistent training schedules have seriously affected the shape of our athletes, but nevertheless, all athletes have made every effort to perform to the best of their abilities, so that their countries are proud of them.
And we, in turn, thank FINA, which was able to reward our talented athletes with the opportunity to take part in the main sports event of the last five years.