Kenya on course to win Africa Swimming tourney

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AYUMBA AYODI

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Team Kenya was on the verge of winning the Confederation of Africa Swimming (Cana) Zone III Championships at the Kasarani Aquatic Stadium.

Kenya led with 2, 004 points with Uganda Swim Team in hot pursuit on 1,081 points after the morning session on Satturday.

Tanzanites from Tanzania were placed third with 1703 points with South Africa and Zambia, who are guest teams, coming in fourth and fifth with 1309 and 1124 respectively.

The three-day event that attracted nine teams was to end Saturday evening with three events; 50m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 4 x50m freestyle relay.

The 180 participants will get to have an experience at the open water Waterfront in Karen starting 8am to 1pm on Sunday, before departure to their respective countries.

Ivan Hart was the star for the hosts in the morning session, winning two events- Boys’ 14 and under 200m butterfly and individual medley.

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Mohammed Khandwalla, Sabbath Leunoto, Tabuka Bifwoli and Imara Bella Thorpe also won their respective events for Kenya with the team of Thorpe, Samantha Hawala, Riva Karia and Victor Okumu ruling the roost in girls’ 15 and over 400m LC medley relay.

Hart tapped the wall first in 2 minutes and 32.14 seconds to reign supreme in the butterfly contest, beating Uganda’s Steve Magera and Peter Itatiro in 2:43.37 and 2:52.08 respectively.

Hart would complete a double with victory in 2:35.09 in individual medley, brushing aside Settumba Paulsen from Uganda, who clocked 2:41.29. Paulson’s compatriot Magera timed 2:42.51 for third.

Khandwalla proved untouchable in Boys’ 15 and Over 200m butterfly, winning in 2:27.24 as Uganda’s Ben Kaganda and Ashraf Moez from Tanzania settled second and third in 2:38.06 and 3:08.64 respectively.

Leonoto romped home in 1:06.02 to clinch boys’ 11-12 100m freestyle title, beating compatriot Joshua Masaka and Zaabu Kyabayinze(Uganda), who returned in 1:08.07 and 1:10.17 respectively.

Bifwoli was home and dry in 56.35 to win boys’ 15-16 100m freestyle. Brandon Rumball( Zambia) and Breydon Remley (South Africa).

Thorpe saw off Sylvia Caloiaro from Tanzania and compatriot Juhaina Islam Ali to win girls’ 17 and over 100m freestyle.

Thorpe tapped the wall in 1:02.38 while Caloiaro and Ali 1:08.30 and 1:09.19 respectively.

Kenya Swimming Federation president Patrick Muyah declared the event a major success.

“Having South Africa and Zambia joining us is a major boost,” said Muyah who regretted an incident where Team Rwanda was recalled despite having arrived for the championship on Monday.

“They were told to go back after they had checked in at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by their government but no one has explained the reason,” said Muyah.

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