The national team trio of Naomi Ruele, Bonita Imsirovic and David Van Der Colff dominated the scenes at the 11th Botswana Swimming Sport Association (BSSA) nationals held over the weekend at the UB Swimming pool.
Ruele, the Africa Youth Games silver medalist, bagged four gold medals in the 50m freestyle and the 50m butterfly races, recording times of 26.56 seconds and 29.12 seconds respectively.
The 18-year old participated in the women’s 17-24 ages category.
“It was a very good competition. Two years ago, it was not as serious and there was not as much competition as it was this year.
I had a surgery on my shoulder so I have not prepared as much as I would have loved to. I have a bigger competition coming up in America,” Ruele said.
Her teammate at BMMS Gators Swimming Club, Imsirovic also bagged a gold medal in the 200m breaststroke race in a time of 3.03.05 seconds.
The national record holder told Mmegi Sport that she did not have enough time to train for the competition due to school commitments.
“My name was not in the finals so they had to push everything around and that came as a destruction.
I missed a few training sessions due to examinations and missing just a single training session is a lot. I’m looking forward to next year, I want to do full training and get back to where I was before the All Africa Games (AAG) and hopefully qualify for the Olympics,” she said.
The 20-year old came in to the nationals with a time of 2.51.41 seconds, which she recorded at the AAG.
Van Der Colff dominated the scenes in the males’ section of the 100m backstroke and the 400m freestyle.
He finished first with a time of 59.63 and 4.23.40 respectively. The 18-year old managed to beat his fierce rival Willem Van Nierkerk in both races.
“I am happy with my performances and was really looking forward to improving my times. I am getting better,” he said. DMSS emerged the overall winners of the competition collecting a total of 6 554.50 points. In second place is Gaborone Aquatics Club with 3 553 .50 points, while BDF Dolphins settled for third position with 1 848 points.
Nine affiliated clubs took part at this year’s event. Swimrite Swimming Club of Selebi-Phikwe and Kubu Swimming Club of Francistown were the only two representatives from the north at the competition.