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Former Soya award winner Maria Bianchi sets a new meet record

Maria Bianchi from Aga Khan Academy displays some of her medals after a past event. [File]

Teenage sensation Maria Bianchi set a new meet record during the Coast Invitational Swimming gala that entered its second day yesterday at the Bandari Maritime Academy’s swimming pool in Mombasa.

Swimming for Blue Ocean Swimming Club, Maria smashed a nine year old record of Coast Amateur Swimming Association (Casa) in girls 14/15 years 100m individual medley (IM) set by Olympian Emily Muteti on April 19, 2013.

Mari, who was adjudged the most outstanding girl of the year during the 2019 Soya awards and a student at Shree Swaminarayan Academy erased Emily’s record of 1.11.53 to set a new record of 1.11.30 as she eyes to represent the country in the upcoming Africa Youth Games set for Cairo, Egypt.

Coached by Mohammed Ahmed, it was evident that Maria was ready for the gala immediately she stepped onto the board as she swum with a lot of determination to defeat her closest challengers Emma Wambui of Bandari Swim Club and Melissa Van Niekerk of Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa who clocked 1.19.34 and 1.26.68 respectively.

In the boys 14/15 years 100m IM category, Adam Otieno of Otters Swim Club swum like a shark to touch the wall first with a  time of 1.17.01 for nine points. Gift Beriny and Adnan Abdulaziz both of Mombasa Parents Club clocked 1.17.31 and 1.23.58 respectively.

In boys 12/13 years 1,500m freestyle, Bandari swimmers  Hemed Awadh and Mahin Patel coached by former international Fakry Mansoor claimed the first and second positions with a  time of 23.31.52 and 24.03.88 in that order.

Riyadh Abubakar also from Bandari registered a time of 21.13.56 to win the boys 14/15 years 1,500m freestyle category.