The African nation of Burundi will send three swimmers to the 2014 World Short Course Championships, according to Africa Top Sports.
Specifically, 23-year old Elsie Uwamahoro, 18-year old Billy Scott Irazoke, and 17-year old Idriss Mutankabandi will make the journey to Doha, Qatar from December 3rd-7th of this year.
The three have varying levels of experience. Irazoke represented the country at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships, where he placed 81st in the 100 free in 1:02.25. He also had success at the East African “school games” earlier this year, where he won a gold and two silvers.
The relative veteran Uwamahoro has swum at both the World Short Course and World Long Course Championships. That includes in 2013 in Barcelona, where she placed 80th out of 83 legal finishers in the women’s 50 free (34.80) and 71st out of 73 in the 100 free (1:16.63).
Mutankabandi is the novice of the group, and is making his first international appearance for Burundi.
Notably absent from the roster is 21-year old Carmel Bavuna, who was the 3rd member of Burundi’s team for last year’s World Championships in Barcelona.
Burundi is located in Eastern Africa and borders Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has one of the lowest per capita GDPs in the world, but has still managed to put up a heroic effort to stave off the virus that has swept through the continent and is now spreading across the world. Specifically, as of September 1, the government checked every person who flew into and out of the country’s airport, and there have been no officially reported cases of Ebola there.
The Democratic Republic of Congo reported its first Ebola cases in late August, meaning that Burundi is next in the line of spread geographically. This is relevant to sport, as three African athletes were barred from competing at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, including one swimmer.
FINA has not made any specific comment one way or the other on whether they will take any similar action for the World Short Course Championships.