Monday, 10 September 2012

15 countries converge in Nairobi for swimming gala at Kasarani

Past swimming event
By Fred Maingi in Nairobi
The 11th edition of the Africa Championships was gets underway from
today(monday September 10th) at Nairobi's
Moi International Sports Centre Aquatic Stadium.
The week-long event has attracted 15 countries with Kenya Swimming
Federation (KSF) confident of hosting a successful event despite the
delay in the completion of the pool at the Moi International Sports
Centre, Kasarani.
As the hosts seek to stamp its authority at home, they expect to face
stiff completion from Egypt and South Africa.
   Other countries to participate include Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda,
Burundi, Congo
Brazzaville, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Nigeria, DRC, Seychelles,
Botswana and Ethiopia.
Kenya finished fourth in 2010 with six medals (3 Gold, 2 Silver, 1
Bronze) behind South Africa who won the overall title in 2010 amassing
a total of 59 medals (27 Gold, 16 Silver, 16 Bronze) followed by
Tunisia and Algeria.
Olympic champions Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia, South Africa's Cameron
van der Burgh and Kenyan ace Jason Dunford are among the elite
confirmed to take part in the African swimming championships in
The trio will join hundreds of other African swimmers in the championship
     The 28-year-old Mellouli, a three-time Olympic medalist, will eye a
double assault as he is good in both freestyle and medley events.
Mellouli became the 1,500m freestyle world champion at the 2009 World
Championships with a winning time of 14:37.28.
    He won the gold at the 1,500m freestyle at the 2008 Olympics and got
bronze in London Olympics over the same distance.
Van der Burgh beat a stellar field in the men's 100m breaststroke at
the London Games with a world-record time of 58.46 seconds.
Dunford of Kenya was eliminated in the semifinals of the men's 100m
butterfly during the London Games.
“We are ready to see the finest swimmers from the continent compete in
these championships and hope that we will register good results as the
hosts particularly now that we have an Olympian in our team.
“Jason will definitely be a star attraction as he looks to bounce back
from the results in the recent Olympics and is our major hope to
inspire the rest in the 23 strong squad,” said the Kenya Swimming
Federation (KSF) public  relations officer Winnie Kamau as she rued
the absence of the younger David who took a break after the London
The pool at Kasarani has been undergoing renovations for the last two
years which are in the final stages according to the Sports Stadia
Management Board (SSMB) relations officer Rakii Asman.
“I can assure the pool is all set for the event before it kicks off,
we are just finalizing on a few technical aspects.
“In fact there were some local swimmers who had some practice sessions
at the pool last week so the facility is good enough to host the
event,” asserted Asman when reached for comment about the fears
allayed about the lack of the heated provision at the pool.

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