Swimmers Danilo Rosafio and Emily Muteti will represent Kenya this summer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Kenya Swimming Federation announced this week. Both swimmers train abroad, with Rosafio swimming at Loughborough University in the UK and Muteti swimming at Grand Canyon University in the United States.
The pool swimming portion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will run from July 24 – August 1, 2021.
While neither swimmer hit the FINA “A” or “B” standard, both were chosen under the FINA Universality program. This year, FINA added additional requirements to the program, encouraging countries to select the swimmers with the highest FINA points swims during the relevant qualifying period.
Each swimmer will be eligible to swim 1 event in Tokyo.
Rosafio was one of two men who represented Kenya at the 2019 World Championships, where he placed 69th in the 50 free (23.86) and 83rd in the 100 free (52.66). He was chosen on the strength of the 52.09 that he swam in the 100 free at the 2019 World Junior Championships, which was graded at 730 points.
Muteti was one of two female swimmers who swam for Kenya at that meet, placing 45th in the 50 free (26.81) and 40th in the 100 fly (1:02.88). She was chosen on the strength of her 698 FINA point swim at the 2019 All-Africa Games. There, Muteti finished 5th in 26.72.
FINA waved rules this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, requiring that Universality athletes swim at the preceding World Championships to be eligible for the Olympic Games. In this case, Kenya still selected two members of its Worlds team.
The pair will be joined by Abdulmalik Abubakar as the team manager and Fakhry Mansoor as the team coach.
Kenya’s most famous swimmers in history are brothers Jason and David Dunford. Jason, the country’s flag bearer at the London 2012 opening ceremonies, finished 5th in the 100 fly at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Kenya has won 103 Olympic medals in its history: 96 from athletics (track & field + road racing & race walking) and 7 from boxing.
The announcement comes as the Kenya Swimming Federation still has not held new elections following a FINA suspension. FINA says that the federation was to be suspended until “elections are held in accordance with FINA Rules.”
The Kenyan Swimming Federation has not held elections since September 2014. The former president of the federation resigned in 2017 after being arrested in late 2016 on theft charges. He was one of many Kenyan sporting officials who were arrested after investigations into missing equipment and money surrounding the 2016 Olympic Games. Ekumbo called the decision a “retirement.”
The Kenya Olympic Committee says that they still have the power to enter athletes into the Olympic Games independently of the Swimming Federation if the federation remains suspended.