KAMPALA. The 17th Fina World Championships in Budapest, Hungary have in a way been kind to the Ugandan swimmers.
Ismah Serunjoji’s 50m butterfly national record (28.57) made on Sunday was yesterday supplemented by another from Joshua Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza in the 50m breaststroke.
Ekirikubinza clocked 32.77 to finish sixth in heat two and 71st overall in a race that had 84 swimmers, including three that did not start.
The race was so competitive from the start with Muis Ahmad clocking 30.73 in what should have been the slowest heat one while the fastest heat nine had Great Britain’s Adam Peaty smash his own world record from the 26.42 set in Kazan to 26.10.
Ekirikubinza now holds the two fastest times for a Ugandan swimmer in 50m breast, including the 33:00 he managed at the 16th Worlds in Kazan, Russia two years ago.
“It went well and I am happy to have made the PB but I definitely have a lot of work to put in,” Ekirikubinza told Daily Monitor, on phone from the Danube Arena – where he returns this morning for his 100m freestyle long-course debut.
Today, the Olympian will attempt to go lower than the 59.00 estimation made from a combination of his 100m free (short course) times.
“The conversions are not 100% accurate and it will be a new experience. I am curious to see how my long course free is in comparison to the short course,” Ekirikubinza said. “The new (breaststroke) record definitely puts me in a good place to attempt to come in around 59.00,” he added.
Coach Muzafaru Muwanguzi, expected the swimmer to perform even better but was equally glad to have the national record. “The 50 breast is not an Olympic event so we have to ensure our times are good enough to collect Fina points,” Muwanguzi added. Fina points are usually used by coaches and swimmers to rank swimmers, set time standards and gauge performances.