The 3rd Africa Aquatics Zone 2 Junior Swimming and Open Water Championship held at the University of Ghana, Sports Directorate, came to a beautiful end with many having a lot to say, but countries without any medal to go home with may have a lot more.
Organized by the Ghana Swimming Association, the event went back-to-back with champions delivery from 18th to 20th August 2023 (from 9am – 12 noon (morning session) and 3pm–6pm (evening session) each day).
These Countries – Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, participated but didn’t win any medal. Twenty-Two (22) West and Central African countries participated.
The Championship forms part of the preparation for the Accra 2023 African Games.
Meanwhile, Nigeria emerged as overall winners of the three-day third Africa Zone 2 Junior Swimming and Open Water Championship. They won 15 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals.
Ghana placed second with 7 gold, 11 silver and 4 bronze medals, while Benin came third with 7 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.
A total of 14 countries in the West and Central African countries participated in the event.
President of the Aquatic Zone 2, Dr. Mohammed Diop (Senegal) said the event was impressively organized – a championship that started with three countries and increasingly growing.
Also, Secretary General of the Ghana Swimming Association, Mr Mohammed Kassim described the event as very successful and a plus for Ghana.
A) Best Performance (Male)
• 1st – Kpade, Alexis (BEN) .. 657 WAqua points
• 2nd – Olise, Chukwunalu (NGR) .. 653 WAqua points
• 3rd – Ndiaye, Mame Racine (SEN) .. 511 WAqua points
B)Best Performance (Female)
• 1st – Douillet, Ionnah (BEN) .. 582 WAqua points
• 2nd – Drame, Mariama (SEN) .. 488 WAqua points
• 3rd – Forson, Zaira (GHA) .. 479 WAqua points
C) Best Swimmer (Male)
• 1st – Kanu, Chukwudi (NGR) – 3g / 1s (+ 4 Relay golds)
• 2nd – Kpade, Alexis (BEN) – 3g / 1s
• 3rd – Olise, Chukwunalu (NGR) – 3g
D)Best Swimmer (Female)
• 1st – Forson, Zaira (GHA) – 7g / 1s
• 2nd – Douillet, Ionnah (BEN) – 4 g
• 3rd – Kimiakigha, Peremoboere (NGR) – 3g
E) Best Team (Male)
• 1st – Nigeria – 10g / 4s / 2b
• 2nd – Benin – 3g / 1s
• 3rd – Senegal – 2g / 2s / 8b
F) Best Team (Female)
• 1st – Ghana – 7g / 3s
• 2nd – Benin – 4g
• 3rd – Nigeria – 3g / 1b
G ) Best Team (Overall)
• 1st – Nigeria – 15g / 4s / 3b
• 2nd – Ghana – 7g / 11s / 4b
• 3rd – Benin – 7g / 1s / 1b
The excited President of Nigeria Aquatic Federation (NAF), Chinoye Aliyu, praised team Nigeria for their excellent performance.
”We are so happy, and we have done our country proud, she said. ”And we are carrying all these trophies to go and show our president that Nigeria has come to Ghana…, and we have won a lot of trophies.”
Earlier in a press conference organised by the Nigeria Aquatic Federation on coaches and aquatics lifeguard professional course, Chinoye Aliyu said the present board of the federation was focused on making the country a swimming state.
“Our focus is to make Nigeria a swimming state. That is why we are interested in upgrading and re-training our lifeguards,” Aliyu said.
“We want to make our waters safe. The national coach will be here from Abuja to interact with our coaches on how to move swimming forward,” she stated.
For the chairman technical of the federation, Nseobong Jesimiel, a two-day coaching course would be organised for the coaches.
“The coaching course would last for two days with so many activities lined up. We will be teaching general principles of swimming with a number of seasoned coaches’ lineup,” Jesimiel said. Speaking further, the chairman technical said professionals and ex-swimmers to teach about the technicalities of swimming. “We want to lay a good foundation right now. With the help of the new president a strong foundation would have been laid at the conclusion of the seminar.
Participants expected at the course include hotels, schools, swimming pools owners amongst others.
Over 5,000 participants are expected seminar which starts on September 25 to 30.