Abubakar shatters three Kenyan records in UK swimming gala

Kenya's sensational swimmer, Ridhwan Abubakar. [Courtesy]

Kenya's sensational swimmer, Ridhwan Abubakar was in a stunning display as he shattered three national records during the UK swimming championship.

Despite his enviable exploits, his dream to swim at next year's Olympic games hangs in the balance.

Last month, World Aquatics lifted Kenya's suspension after the successful elections ushered in a new team led by Maureen Owiti as Kenya Aquatics President.

Abubakar has been dropped from the Kenyan team for the World swimming championship scheduled for February 23 to March 3 next year in Doha, Qatar.

Abubakar's first record-breaking feat came in the 200m freestyle, where he clocked an impressive time of 1:51.08, erasing his own previous record of 1:51.79 set in Abudhabi in 2021, which was earlier set by David Dunford.

Abubakar claimed the 800m freestyle record with a new time of 8:22.39, toppling Ivan Hart's previous record of 8:27.16 set in 2022.

To prove he had set his eyes for the global event in Doha known for its futuristic  skyscrapers, Abubakar completed his treble after he went ahead to break the formidable 400m freestyle record held by the renowned Jason Dunford, posting a time of 3:58.78, surpassing the previous record of 3:59.13 set in 2010.

However, the road to Doha has been far from smooth for Abubakar and other diaspora swimmers who were given a two-week notice to report to Kasarani for the national trials and qualifications for the global championship.

Despite training in the UK, Abubakar made the arduous journey to Kenya to compete in the event. Unfortunately, the short notice severely hindered his ability to achieve the required FINA points, thereby jeopardising his chances of participating in the Olympics.

By AFP 4 hrs ago
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