Rebecca makes mockery of KSF in Sheffield

Rebecca Kamau’s performance at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield has made mockery of Kenya Swimming Federation (KSF)’s selection process for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Becky, to her friends, swam 2.29:65 in the 200m breast stroke at the championships to claim silver and break her national record of 2.34:99 which she set earlier this year in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Kiruri Kamau, the swimmer’s father, told Citizen Digital how the 16 year-old has handled the disappointment of being axed from the Rio-bound team.

“She had been training for the Olympics since she broke the national record in April and when she got the disheartening news that she wouldn’t be travelling to Rio, it hit her really had,” the distraught parent explained.

“Claiming Silver in Sheffield was the perfect response and now she has set her sights on next year’s World Championships in Bulgaria,” he added.

The UK-based Rebecca was the only swimmer who had out rightly qualified for Rio after she swam under the “B” standard Olympic qualifying set time of 2:18.96 and 2:32.08 in the 200m individual medley and 200m breaststroke but would not be part of the team as Nock had already presented two athletes to the federation.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario directed KSF to write to the international swimming body Fina to enter axed swimmers, Issa Mohammed and Kamau, in the 2016 Olympics team or risk the sport being withdrawn from the Summer Games.

Media personalities, activists and Kenyans of all walks of life also joined in the push to have the teenager and Issa re-instated but it was not possible as the July 18 deadline for submitting names had passed and the two other names approved.

Her second-place finish in the British tournament however elevated her to fourth in the U.K’s rankings of swimmers under the age of 17 and automatically qualified her for next year’s FINA World Championships, the only Kenyan to do so.

The multi- national record holder is optimistic that come 2020 she will be part of the team that will be travelling to Japan.

“She is hopeful she will be in the squad for the next Olympics but insists she is done with depending on wild cards and only direct qualification will do for her. By then she will be 20 and believes she will have gained enough experience to compete with the world’s best,” the father clarified.

“At the moment, my fellow colleagues and I are planning to take FINA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to challenge the procedure in which they chose the swimmers who will represent Kenya at the Olympics.

“This is supposed to discourage them from using dubious methods when selecting athletes to compete for Kenya in future competitions,” he reiterated.

Talisa Lanoi and Hamdan Bayusuf will be Kenya’s representatives at the quadrennial event slated for next month.

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olympics Rio 2016 British Swimming Championships Rebecca Kamau Sheffield

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