By Petride Mudoola
HAVING finished seventh in the just concluded Africa Junior Swimming Championships in Lusaka Zambia, Elisha Ekirikubinza has shifted his target to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Ekirikubinza who specialises in 100m and 200m breast stroke, posted 2 minutes 54 seconds in the 15-16 boys’ category.
Ekirikubinza was one of four swimmers that represented Uganda in the Africa Junior Swimming Championships between November 28 - December 1 in Lusaka Zambia, with two managing to reach the finals.
Ekirikubinza, Arnold Kisulo, Jethro Ssengonzi and Rebecca Ssegonzi were in Zambia for the competition with Ekirikubinza and Rebecca reaching the final.
Ekyirikubinza told New Vision that the competition was very tough because the Ugandan team was competing with swim¬mers who have been training in first class swimming pools.
“I realised that most of the swimmers we were competing with in Zambia have been training in swimming pools similar to those used in Olympics. Though they trained in standard pools which we don’t have in Uganda, I managed to beat them,” he proudly said.
Ekirikubinza was previously interested in football but turned to swimming in order to follow his brother’s footsteps. He says it was delightful competing with great swimmers and managing to improve most of his times.
“It was a wonderful experience competing against the world’s great swimmers. I just need to improve on keeping time so as to do wonders in the Olympic Games,” said the 15-year-old Dolphin Swimming Club member.
Muzafaru Muwanguzi, the national coach said that the event was the biggest occasion in Africa which brings together best swimmers on the continent. It was an opportunity for Ugandan swimmers to gain experience and exposure, he added.
“We made our first appearance at the continental championship. Fortunately, we made it to the finals with two of our swimmers finishing in the top eight, which is encouraging,” Muwanguzi said.