NAIROBI, July 26 (Xinhua) –– The most famous Kenyan name in Olympics swimming is Jason Dunford, the 2010 Commonwealth champion who set a 100m butterfly world record of 51.14 seconds at the Beijing 2008 Games in China that lasted for only a few minutes.
Few outside the local swimming fraternity have heard of Danilo Rosafio, another Kenyan swimmer who is hoping to make a name on Tuesday when he dives in the pool for the men 100m freestyle Heat 2 of Tokyo 2020 in Japan.
His build-up to Tokyo has already caught the eye.
Rosafio, who will be making his Olympics debut in Tokyo, won bronze at the Porto 2021 International Meeting in Portugal in June, lowering his 50m freestyle personal best to 23.52 from 23.71 in the race won by home swimmer Diogo Matos in 22.93.
Ahead of the Olympics, Rosafio changed his training base from the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa to Loughborough University, the home of elite British sport, in the UK.
The swimmer made his journey to Japan over the weekend via a non-stop long flight from London’s Heathrow to Tokyo’s Narita Airport where he joined his teammates.
Speaking from the team base in Tokyo in a recent interview, Rosafio hopes that the long-haul trip will not sap his energy when he takes to the pool to face the world’s best on Tuesday.
Still considering himself as an aspiring swimmer, Rosafio has set modest goals for Tokyo.
“The same targets as when I go into any meet. I have come to improve my time, make the most of my time here, learn from the experiences and hopefully make my country proud,” he asserted.
Emily Muteti, Kenya’s only other swimmer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will bow in the women’s 50m freestyle Heat 6 on Friday, July 30.
Muteti qualified for Tokyo following her good performance at the 2019 African Games in Casablanca, Morocco, where she achieved the top 698 FINA points in her event.