Abubakar sets his eyes on scaling new heights in the pool

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

It feels good to always be at the top form.

For high-flying Kenyan swimmer Ridhwan Abubakar, this is the feeling he'd wish to be in for quite a long time.

Abubakar produced a tremendous finishing prowess during the final day of the 2023 international Coimbra Swimming Championship in Portugal on Sunday.

The championship that brought together top world swimmers was also used by swimmers to gain entry points for next year's Paris Olympic Games.

Abubakar, who is a student at the Bath University, UK, put all his energy to win a silver medal in the 400m freestyle after he failed a finger-nail short of winning gold in the race won by Costa Afonso of Louzan Natacao club of Portugal with a time of 4.06.58 to bag 710 points.

Other than the podium finish with a time of 4.08.71, Abubakar broke his own national record he set on March 13, 2022 of 4.10.68.

Abubakar earned himself 692 FINA points, solidifying his position as the current top ranked male swimmer in Kenya.

Abubakar's exceptional display of skills and determination was not only confined to the 400m freestyle race. He also participated in the 100m and 200m freestyle races, clocking impressive times of 52.87 and 1:56.29, and scoring 696 and 674 FINA points respectively.

Considering Abubakar's remarkable achievements and the points he has accrued, it was a major boost for his preparations for next year's World championship in Doha in March next year.

Abubakar is one of the reserve swimmers in the national team but his current stellar form has put him in a better position to be included in the traveling party to Doha.

Abubakar's former coach Fakry Mansoor of Mombasa-based Bandari Swimming Club said the swimmer's good performance has improved his chances of making the final cut.

"I am optimistic Kenya Aquatic selectors will acknowledge Abubakar's new energy and give him the opportunity to represent his country and make a mark in the global swimming arena," said Mansoor.

Meanwhile, Braeburn and Sailfish swimming clubs won the men and women overall titles during the national inter-clubs swimming gala at St Austins Academy, Nairobi on Sunday.

In the men's category, Braeburn bagged 62 medals that had 34 gold, 19 silver and nine bronze, while Mombasa Aquatic Club was second with 25 gold, 18 silver and 12 bronze for a total of 55 medals. Raptors were third with 28 medals that included 12 gold, eight silver and same number of bronze.

In the women's category, Sailfish had 22 gold, 10 silver and 11 bronze for a total collection of 43 medals.

Mombasa Aquatic was second with 43 medals that had 14 gold, 15 silver and 14 bronze. The third spot was claimed by Braeburn with 23 medals that had 12 gold, six silver and five bronze.

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