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Kenya’s Rosafio eyes Gold at the Tokyo Olympics

Danilo Rosafio, Kenya’s sole male representative in swimming at the Tokyo Olympics, says he is gunning for gold.

The 19-year-old will be competing in the first round on July 27, 2021, making his debut in the 100m men’s freestyle contest at 1:06pm EAT.

The swimming portion of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games that started on July 24 will run until August 1.

The chemical engineering student at the Loughborough University in the UK, admits that training during the pandemic has been particularly hard, but is hoping for good results at the Olympics.

“Back in England, I made it a point to train almost every day despite the pandemic but at least swimming being an individual sport, even without a coach, the burden of getting better is on you. So despite the jetlag I still feel as strong as I’ve been in the last few months and I intend to bring the same energy during my race,” he told Nairobi News.

In Tokyo, his female counterpart Emily Muteti who trains at Grand Canyon University in the US will join him with both of them under coach Fakhry Mansoor

“I have come to improve my time, make the most of my time here, learn from the experiences and hopefully make my country proud. That’s what I want to do. My goal is to always do the best I can with what I’ve got, I hope to make it to the semi-finals and even if I don’t win it will still be a win because getting to that stage at the Olympics is tough since you are competing with some of the best swimmers in the world,” he said.

Originally from the coastal city of Mombasa, Rosafio might be new at the Olympic games but his swimming career started when he was still in Primary school at the Mombasa Academy.

Some of his most notable competitions as a pro swimmer include winning the 2019 World swimming championships in Gwangju, South Korea with a time of 52.66. Later in the same year, he clocked his personal best time of 52.09 in the men’s 50m and 100m freestyle competitions in Budapest, Hungary. He also competed in the 4×100 meters mixed freestyle relay and 4×100 meters mixed medley relay events that earned him a scholarship at Loughborough University.

Rosafio’s event will be one of the three Kenyan events scheduled for July 27 including the match between the national women’s volleyball team and Korea and the Taekwondo event where Faith Ogallo is the only Kenyan representative.

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 fifth in the 100m butterfly race at the 2008 Olympic Games.