NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
German-based Kenyan, Maria Brunlehner, is among
the four swimmers who have been selected to represent the
country at the Africa Youth Championship in Algiers from July
The National Olympic
Committee of Kenya (NOCK) cut down the number of swimmers
heading to tournament from the initial 12 to just four.
NOCK cited financial
constraints as the reason they are trimming down the number,
even as the country seeks to improve on its seventh place finish
during the last games in Botswana four years ago.
The event will be
used as a continental qualifier for the Olympic Youth Games in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 1-6.
“The former Mombasa-based
athlete will compete in three events, 50/100m freestyle, 200m
individual medley and 50m breast stroke,” said NOCK in a
NOCK noted that the
selection was based on merit and recent rankings by the global
swimming body FINA. “Maria, who made her debut at the
Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast [in] Australia, is
currently the top FINA ranked Kenyan female swimmer with 758
points,” NOCK said.
Retired rugby player
Humphrey Kayange has been named the team Chef de Mission and
hopes the games will inspire the young athletes to focus more on
improving and developing their careers in sports.
South Africa, Egypt
and Nigeria have dominated the games since their debut in 2010
Swimming head coach
Fakry Mansoor hopes to end their medal jinx at the event.
The Africa Youth
Games athletes have to be younger than 17. The swimming team has
pitched camp in Mombasa and includes Maria Brunlehner, Kira
Gheheb, Lucia Ruchti, Jasmin Kimani, Danilo Rosafio, Ridwan
Abubaker, Nobby Obuya and Swaleh Talib.
“Maria has some
experience, which we hope will help her win medals in Algiers.
We believe the experience she gained from the Commonwealth Games
will be an added advantage,” said Mansoor.
Morocco hosted the
inaugural edition in 2010 with 40 countries represented by 1,008
athletes participating in 16 sports. The second tournament took
place in Botswana in 2014 where 54 countries came together to
field 2,500 athletes in 20 disciplines.
After the Algiers
games, the 2022 edition will be in Antananarivo in Madagascar.