Kirabo Namuteebi shifts focus to FINA World Cup in Hungary

Uganda’s most successful female swimmer, Kirabo Namutebi, will brush off a disappointing International Schools Sports Federation games, with a concentrated mind for the FINA World Cup due June 10 to July 3 in Budapest, Hungary.

Namutebi who was a member of Uganda’s team of 42 athletes, missed out on a medal by 10 microseconds in the finals of the 50m freestyle, coming 4th in 26.36 seconds behind bronze winner Ratkai Ratkai of Hungary (26.26) and Cyprus’ Hadjiloizou Anna and Hungary’s Ugrai Panna Nora who won silver and bronze in 26.14 and 25.96 seconds respectively. 

However, Namutebi’s personal performance in France was a beacon of hope as she set a new national record in the heats having come top on 26.12 and a personal best in the final.

“I am extremely excited about the new national record and the personal best record I made in the 50m freestyle but we can’t always win everything, a journey is always ups and downs and I can’t expect to always win.

“I have to take it as a learning experience and it motivates me to train harder because I did definitely feel pressure and I did feel bad that I didn’t manage to win a medal but it is all okay and it will make me stronger in the future,” Kirabo said.

Kirabo has now embarked on training ahead of the event that will pit her against the best swimmers in the world, where she is poised to again meet her rivals from France in the shape of Hungary’s Panna and Ratkai.

Before the championships in France, Kirabo had taken part in the Tatarstan Republican Championship in Kazan, Russia, in January 2022 where she competed in the 50m freestyle (27.18), 50m butterfly (30.33), Breaststroke 50m (32.31) and Freestyle 100m (1:01.47)

“I am still getting used to the way the training is working compared to where I was in Russia. I am doing quite well at the moment and my goal is to just push in every training session and push it one at a time,” she said.

The January event came barely a month after the Vladimir Salnikov Cup in St Petersburg, Russia in December 2021, where she set a national record in the 50m breaststroke with a 33.20 finish and a personal best of 29.00 in the 50m butterfly.

Kirabo will be in Hungary alongside her brother Tendo Mukalazi who set personal best records in Kazan in the 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly and before recording national records in St Petersburg in the 50m backstroke (27.31) and 50m freestyle (22.99).

The two athletes have already been named on Uganda’s team for the Commonwealth Games due in Birmingham, England, from 28 July to 8 August and the pair will use the Hungary tourney as a buildup.

Author by: Aloysius Byamukama
Photo by: Aloysius Byamukama