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Kenyan swimmers will focus on times not medals


Instead of dreaming of gold, silver and bronze medals coach Twalib Ali has advised his swimmers to concentrate on improving their times.


Kenyan swimmer Nicholas Diaper

Ali is realistic about how fast his swimmers are, and even though reaching the final will be a bonus, he said: "If you manage to beat the clock and improve your time, the goal is achieved.

The experienced swimmer Nicholas Diaper, who competed at the last Commonwealth Games, is a great motivator for the young swimmer Kabir Walia, 17.

Walia, who will take part in backstroke's 50m, 100m and 200m as well as 200m individual medley, made up his mind to be in the next Commonwealth Games after watching Diaper four years ago. "He impressed me with the the goals he had set for himself. The moment you realise these goals, it is as good as winning a medal," Walia said.

Everybody on the team agrees that the ambitious character of Diaper has created a welcome ambiance among the swimmers. "He is very optimistic about Kenyan swimming," they said.

Hamid Nassir, who will participate in the 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle, is certain that he will improve on his times due to the hard competition he will be up against.
"In swimming, it is about beating the clock. We may not win a medal but improve our times and even national records," he said.

Nassir's biggest ambition is to do well and possibly represent Kenya at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 2004.

The Hungarian-trained coach Ali is absolutely sure that his team will do much better than the team who went to Malaysia four years ago. He said: "Look at their times when it is all over and that will tell you how serious the swimmers are."

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