May 12, 2021 Sports
Kaieteur News – Jamila Sanmoogan and Andrew Fowler will be representing Guyana at the Olympic Games in Tokyo after picking up the two FINA universality spots. In April, The International Swimming Federation (FINA) wrote to the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) informing them of the failure of any Guyanese swimmer to qualify for the Games in Tokyo, hence Sanmoogan and Fowler landed two universality spots.
Universality spots allows a nation with no Olympic swimming qualifier to enter up to one man and one woman in the Olympics – typically, those ‘universality’ entries require that the athletes competed in the most recent edition of FINA’s Long Course World Championships.
Sanmoogan will make her second Olympic appearance, having first represented Guyana at Rio 2016, where she competed in the Women’s 50 meters freestyle. She placed 63rd overall. The 23 year-old Fowler represented Guyana at the Commonwealth Games and the World Swimming Championships among other Meets.
President of GASA, Dwayne Scott told Kaieteur Sport that they are happy to have two swimmers at the Games and are looking forward to their performances. He expressed gratitude to FINA and the Guyana Olympic Association for the opportunity.
Scott informed that they want to ensure that local swimmers qualify for future Games and a long term youth development programme is planned so as to give athletes a fair opportunity to hone their skills.
In an invited comment, Sanmoogan said she is excited to be able to represent her country at the Olympic Games once again and is working hard to improve. “Not being able to gain access to the pool for about a year due to the lockdown has affected my training, but I am working hard to improve,” she added.
Sanmoogan also represented Guyana at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as the 2019 World Swimming Championships. She currently trains five times per week at the National Aquatic Centre and is also doing gym work. The games will be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021. (Zaheer Mohamed)
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