Maria Bianchi splashes to victory at national gala

Maria Bianchi from Aga Khan Academy who was crowned as the most outstanding player girl of the year for 2019, displays some of her medals she has won in various swimming championships, February 19, 2020. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

Kenya’s rising star Maria Bianchi showed her prowess after she made a last second dash to win the girls 16 years and over 200m breaststroke race at the national swimming championships that entered day two yesterday at the Bandari Maritime Academy, Mombasa.

Swimming for Mombasa’s Blue Ocean Club, Bianchi’s bravery won the race with a time of 2 minutes 54.14.

Bianchi, the 2019 Soya winner is fresh from winning six medals at the 2022 Cana Zone Four swimming championships in Lusaka, Zambia.

However, in the girls 16 years and over 100m butterfly race, upcoming swimmer Lubaina Islam of Mombasa Aquatic Club stunned Bianchi after she pushed her to the third position.

She won the race in 1.06.20 with Victoria Okumu of Nairobi’s Braeburn School and Bianchi clocking 1.09.25 and 1.09.35.

Lubaina went ahead to win the girls 16 years and over 400m individual medley (IM) battle with a time of 5.18.33 before she crowned her good swim with a time of 4.46.70 to win the 400m freestyle race.  

Nurayn Bagha of Braeburn Swim Club clocked 5.17.54 for second slot.

In boys 16 years and over 400m freestyle relay, Braeburn team of Tabuka Bifwoli, Evans Kanja, Abdul Bagha and Jesse Onyach timed 4.07.71 to win the race beating USIU Dolphines of Samson Rweinaga, Denis Muthui, Ibrahim Omar and Nabil Shikely who clocked 4.23.50 for the second position.

Nairobi Academy’s Baraka Nyakundi timed 1.16.24 to win the boys 11/12 years 100 butterfly race with Samir Bachelani of Blue Ocean timing 18.35.66 to win the boys 16 years and over 1,500m freestyle title.

Tugi Mwige of Mombasa Aquatic won the girls 14/15 years 1,500m freestyle in 20.35.74.

Chikashi Nakono of Nairobi’s Poseidon won the boys 12/13 years 1,500m freestyle.