FINA to invest millions in African swimming after Olympics

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FINA to invest millions in African swimming after Olympics

FINA president Husain Al-Musallam reiterated its desire to expand global access to swimming with a new initiative to increase investment in African swimming.

The new head of FINA, speak with the Associated Press soon after swimming competitions at the Tokyo Olympics ended, moved to elite training centers and scholarship programs to expand the sport’s global footprint. The number was placed at $ 29 million over the next four years. A recently announced increase in the FINA World Short Distance Championships scholarship is one of them.

The first of these announced investments is an elite training center in Tunisia, the country that produced the gold medalist in the men’s 400m freestyle. Ahmed Hafnaoui like a beacon of promise for the continent. FINA has also identified Senegal and two South African universities for elite training bases, as well as other new institutions in Hungary and Russia.

Hafnoui’s surprise gold medal was one of only three medals for African swimmers at the Tokyo Olympics. The others were brought home by South Africa Tatjana Schoenmaker (gold in the women’s 200 breaststroke, silver in the 100 breaststroke), although this country has a strong history of investing in swimming.

“I think there will be a lot of athletes from Africa swimming and they will reach the podium,” Al-Musallam told the AP. “When you give everyone the opportunity, they play. Africans lack resources, especially for water sports.

Almost half of the pool’s 105 medals have been won by the United States (30) and Australia (21). European countries won 32 medals (plus five of six in open water) and Asian nations won 11.

Brent Nowicki, the new Managing Director of FINA, cited the example of Abeku jackson from Ghana training in Russia, at a FINA-supported facility in Kazan which will host the 2025 World Championships, as essential in its improvement. More African swimmers are able to make the jump to universities in Europe or the United States, but another avenue might be to facilitate those connections. Al-Musallam also hopes that the Olympic stars will engage with young swimmers in developing swimming markets to provide them with inspiration.

“I said, ‘I can give you this opportunity. I am sending you to Ghana. Talk to the kids in the river, ”said the Kuwaiti president of FINA. “I want to work in the field, I am easy. You judge the result.


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