The Tanzania Swimming Association (TSA) has exuded confidence that their two swimmers will perform well at the 2016 Olympic Games set to begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil tomorrow.
TSA secretary general Ramadhani Namkoveka said yesterday that the duo of Magdalena Moshi (50m freestyle) and Hilal Hemed Hilal (50m freestyle) have enough quality to genuinely vie for medals at the quadrennial showpiece, stressing that they have prepared well.
"They have gone through intensive training, so we believe that they are ready for the looming challenge in Brazil. Both have the quality to medals even though we can't promise that," he said.
The duo competed at the 2012 London Olympics, but could not make Tanzania proud.
"They learnt a lot during the last Olympic Games. They didn't win any medal, but it acted as a learning platform for them. The duo have improved significantly heading into the Rio Olympics," he added.
Tanzania is one of the countries that will send small contingents to the Olympics, having just seven athletes, a stark contrast with the northern neighbours, Kenya, who will field 89 athletes in seven sports. Four long distance runners will represent Tanzania in Rio plus two swimmers and a judoka.
The runners, all marathoners, are Fabian Joseph, Alphonce Simbu, Sarah Makera and Said Makula while the judoka is Andrew Thomas Mlugu (73kg).
Three athletes with the exception of the marathoners departed for Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday after a colourful farewell at the National Stadium.
Sara will head off to the event on August 10 while the remaining runners will depart on August 15.
This will be the nation's 13th appearance at the Summer Olympics. Tanzania did not attend the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, because of the African boycott.
Filbert Bayi (steeplechase) and Suleiman Nyambui are the only medallists the country has ever produced. They won silver at the 1980 Moscow Games.
Source: The Citizen.