Swimmers savour World Championships experience
Karlien Coleman and Gideon Nasilowski are proud of their performances at the IPC Swimming Championships, which came to a close on Sunday in Montreal, Canada. Namibia‘s first ever representatives at the Championships may not have won any medals – let alone a race – but they set new national and continental milestones, while inspiring hope among the country’s disabled athletes.
The pair had an eventful championships, and were a hit with the fans. The indefatigable Nasilowski proved especially popular with the Montreal crowd, who gave him the moniker ‘The Amphibian Namibian’.
Both athletes’ improved times await confirmation as new African records by the IPC. “For Para Swimming Namibia, this was a very successful World Championships. Two swimmers at the World Championships is big history for the country,” said Nasilowski, who was Namibia’s flag bearer at the competition. “In a couple of weeks we will be able to confirm these African records and excite the nation. We will be on our way back tomorrow and can’t wait to have our feet back on Namibian soil.”
Nasilowski, who endured the misfortune of being erroneously classified, took part in three events and qualified for two finals.
However, he later redeemed himself by setting a new personal best and national record of three minutes and 14 seconds in the men’s 100m freestyle S4 event.
“I had some bad and good news at the same time as we were not informed properly due to a communication error but the fact is I qualified for yet another final in the 100m freestyle S3 classification [on Friday].
“It’s sad that I missed my opportunity but still a big milestone for Namibian swimming. I then got another unexpected event on the last day of competition in the 50m SB3 breaststroke category, of which the best part was that I didn’t get disqualified because I had to completely change my stroke and in the process was unable to improve my record,” he said.
Coleman swam three events, broke two national records by considerable margins and also got disqualified for a technical infringement in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB6 final – her first outing.