Dar es Salaam. Tanzania will be represented by four swimmers in the world championships scheduled to be held at Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center from December 11 to 16.
The swimmers are Hilal Hilal, Collins Saliboko, who will feature in the men category; while women swimmers are Kayla Temba and Celina Itatiro.
Speaking with The Citizen yesterday, Tanzania Swimming Association (TSA) vice chairperson Asmah Hilal said the four would be under head coach Alex Mwaipasi. TSA chairman Imani Dominick will be the chef de mission.
According to Asmah, apart from supervising the swimmers, Mwaipasi will feature in the Fina coaching clinic to be held before the tournament, and Dominick will attend the first world swimming body general assembly meeting.
Asmah said Hilal will connect to Hangzhou from Dubai, while Collins will join the Tanzanian squad through London. Hilal is in World Swimming Federation (Fina) training camp in Dubai while Collins is now pursuing his studies at St Felix School in United Kingdom (UK).
She said they expect the swimmers to make the country proud although they face an uphill task competing against world class swimmers at the 25-metre pool.
“We hope they will not let us down as we are now struggling to lift the standard of the game in the country; we do not have a modern swimming pool and this forced our swimmers to travel early in order to experience the modern facilities,?? said Asmah.
She also noted that the challenges they are facing had forced parents to incur various costs to ensure the swimmers attain the highest standard possible.
“We face huge challenges in performing our duties due to the lack of modern facilities. In most cases, we normally travel very early to the tournament venue with the aim of gaining some experience before competitions; it cost us as well as parents.
“Worse still, we do not have support from sponsors, we are just three month-and-half into office. Therefore, we appeal for support from sports stakeholders. Our vision and mission is to take the game to the highest level of development,” she said.