African Championships in Accra are over with a 11 national records, 6 personal bests, 3 bronze and 2 silver medals.
The sixth day of African championship ended on 16th of October for our swimmers in the city of Akkra (Ghana). This was the last championship held in 50m pool in this season, where our athletes showed great results!
At the African Championships, our FINA Development Center team was represented by seven swimmers, namely:
1) Tendo Mukalazi (Uganda)
2) Abeiku Gyekye Jackson (Ghana)
3) Rabejaona Holy Antsa (Madagascar)
4) Eloi Maniraguha (Rwanda)
5) Kirabo Namutebi (Uganda)
6) Ronan Wantenaar (Namibia)
7) Salvador Vieira Gordo (Angola)
Our team faced with the tasks of a decent performance, improving their own best results, and fulfill the "B" standard for the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships, which will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from 13 – 29 May 2022.
The African Championships began with a performance of our young FINA scholarship holder Kirabo Namutebi (Uganda) in the 100m freestyle. She swam in 59.80, which is the best time of the season for the young athlete. Also, Kirabo swam 50m backstroke (32.35).
On the same first day, four more of our athletes participated: Tendo Mukalazi (Uganda) and Salvador Gordo (Angola) in 50m backstroke, both of them showed their best times 28.41 and 28.80, the same distance was swam by Ronan Wantenaar (Namibia) - 27.53, which allowed him to qualify for the final with the 7th best time, but before that Ronan swam 100m breaststroke, where he showed - 1: 03.23. Rabejaona Holy Antsa also swam 50m backstroke (32.09), she closed the top eight, while improving her time. This day can be called "Day of backstroke".
In the second day of competition, Abeiku Jackson (Ghana) and Salvador Gordo (Angola) competed in the 100 meters butterfly.
Salvador swam in time close to his best - 56.72.
Abeiku made us happy that day: he brought the first bronze medal for our FINA team and for his country. He swam in 53.88, let me remind you that at the Olympics he swam in 53.53.
Two of our guys entered the 50m breaststroke: Tendo Mukalazi (Uganda) - 30.79, this is his best time, and Ronan Wantenaar (Namibia) - 28.71, which is the new national record of Namibia, and most importantly, he brought another bronze medal.
Kirabo Namutebi (Uganda) and Rabejaona Holy Antsa (Madagascar) swam the 50m butterfly, the girls were able to improve their time, Kirabo - 29.78, and Antsa swam 0.44 faster - 29.34 and set the Madagascar national record.
On the third competitive day of the African Championship, Tendo Mukalazi (Uganda) set the national record of his country in the 100m freestyle (53.18) and swam in the best time (26.62) in the 50m butterfly.
Four more athletes, like Tendo, swam the 50m butterfly: Salvador Gordo (Angola) - 25.86, he improved his time and updated his own national record, Abeiku Jackson (Ghana) won a silver medal with a time of 24.18, Ronan Wantenaar (Namibia) - 25.89, and Eloi Maniraguha (Rwanda), like Tendo and Salvador, set a national record - 27.05.
Would like to note that Ronan managed to improve his time in 100m freestyle - 54.48, and Eloi from Rwanda set another national record - 56.70
On the fourth day of the competition, our girls Rabejaona Holy Antsa (Madagascar) swam 100m butterfly - 1:10.41, Kirabo Namutebi (Uganda) 100m breaststroke - 1:20.01, this is her best time.
The second to last day for our FINA Development was also busy.
Ronan Wantenaar (Namibia) swam - 100m backstroke in 1: 00.52.
Rabejaona Holy Antsa (Madagascar) - 50m freestyle in 28.52, but Kirabo Namutebi from Uganda cannot be forgotten, she not only improved her personal time, but also set a new national record (26.26), which allowed her to take second place among juniors.
If for someone this day was calm and not energy-consuming, then for Salvador (Angola) it was different. Firstly, he swam the 200m, where he won a bronze medal with a result of 2:10.01, and with his teammates taking the third place in the mixed medley relay 4x100. He can be called the hero of the fifth day of competition!
On the final "sprint" day, our boys swam 50m freestyle, but even here we have 2 national records from Tendo Mukalazi (Uganda) - 23.87 and Eloi Maniraguha - 25.18. Abeiku Jackson (Ghana) - 23.43, Ronan Wantenaar (Namibia) - 24.02
Salvador Gordo (Angola) won another bronze medal in the 4x100 freestyle relay that day.
The guys shared their impressions after such intense competitions:
«At the end of African Championships, I can say I'm very satisfied with my performance, I did not PB for every event, but I was close which is what is important at this point in the start of the season. I managed to achieve one bronze medal in the 200 fly and two bronze medals for the relays. It was an extremely fun time and I'm exited to get back to training and get ready for the FINA World Cup in our home pool in Kazan» - Salvador Gordo (Angola)
«I am generally happy with my performance during the African Сhampionships. It is always an honour to represent my country. It was a very fun gala, and I made so many different friends from different backgrounds and countries. I am happy with my times and I'm ready to get back to training 10x harder» - Kirabo Namutebi (Uganda)
At the end of 6 days of competition in Accra, the team of the FINA Center managed to show quality results:
⁃ 3 Uganda's national records and 2 personal bests from Tendo Mukalazi.
⁃ silver medal in 50m butterfly and bronze medal in 100m butterfly from Abeiku Gyekye Jackson from Ghana.
⁃ 1 Angola's national record from Salvador Gordo, and personal best in 50m backstroke, as well as 3 bronze medals in 200m butterfly and 2 medleys
⁃ 3 Ruanda's national records from Eloi Maniraguha in these disciplines: 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle.
⁃ 1 Uganda's national record and a silver medal among juniors in 50m freestyle and 3 personal bests in these disciplines: 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 100m breaststroke from Kirabo Namutebi.
⁃ 1 Madagascar's national record in 50m butterfly and 1 personal best in 50m backstroke from Rabejaona Holy Antsa
⁃ 1 Namibia's national record as well as bronze medal in 50m breaststroke and 1 personal best in 100m freestyle from Ronan Wantenaar
The coach of the FINA Center-Pavel Kutashev left his comment on the results of the African Championships in Accra (Ghana):
"For our team this event I can count as successful. More than 50% of our swims were either PB or NR. During this competition athletes faced a lot of difficulties but pushed through them and competed very well until very last swim".