NASU hoping for a slot at Olympic Games

By Michael Uugwanga

AT the end of the state of emergency which was imposed from March until September, the Namibia Swimming Union (NASU) did not hesitate but immediately held its first swimming event of the year, the Bank Windhoek Long Course Swimming Gala, that was held at the Olympia Swimming Pool in Windhoek recently and attracted 107 swimmers.

Swimmers had been out of action for nearly seven months and were not able to compete to Covid-19 regulations.

The Bank Windhoek swimming gala was just one of the three events that NASU will be hosting this year.

NSU spokesperson Nicky McNamara in an interview said that the union normally holds five events every year, but was unable to hold the first two events due to restriction measures put in place under the state of emergency to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“It was such an amazing atmosphere on pool deck. Swimmers, coaches, team managers and parents were all super happy to be back competing. We missed the entire short course season this year which equates to around five galas as well as our Annual Namibian Short Course National Championships, which usually takes place in Swakopmund at the end of September. 

“We are taking things on a month by month basis at the moment.  We are incredibly grateful to have been able to hold this Bank Windhoek Long Course Swimming Gala and we hope to be able to hold two more before the end of December. As such we remain positive and will continue working towards this goal,” said McNamara.

Next month two more Bank Windhoek Long Course Swimming Gala events are scheduled, while early next year NASU plans to start off the year with a bang.

McNamara also said that the union is hoping to see at least two swimmers qualifying to the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The two swimmers that are likely to qualify are Philip Seidler and Xander Skinner.

“Philip Seidler was scheduled to attend open water qualifiers in Seychelles and Japan respectively in May this year and Xander Skinner was scheduled to participate in the qualifiers at the South Africa Aquatic National Championship in April. Unfortunately, all of these events were cancelled.

“With the Olympics postponed to 2021, both swimmers will attempt to qualify at a later stage. Seidler is Namibia’s Open Water Olympic candidate whilst Skinner would attempt to qualify in 50m freestyle event. His (Skinner) other top times are in 100 and 200m freestyle races,” said McNamara.