Keith McGhie @PeopleSports11
Mombasa-born teenagers Emily Muteti and Maria Brunlehner gave a warning that the future of Kenyan swimming is in good hands with encouraging displays at the Optus Aquetic Centre in Gold Coast over the weekend.
Both qualified for the semi-finals of their respective events yet each has been forced to move abroad in order to pursue their chosen sport. Muteti scraped through her heat of the women’s 50m Butterfly despite swimming almost three quarters of a second slower than her season’s best. The 19-year-old, who is at university in Phoenix, Arizona, waited nervously after the race and explained: “When I looked at the rankings beforehand I saw I was 14th but I afterwards I didn’t think my time in the race was going to make it (the top 16 semi-finalists).”
The former Mombasa Aquatic Club member, making her Commonwealth Games debut, unfortunately could not rediscover her best form and finished last in the evening’s second semi-final. Brunlehner, just 18, finished sixth in the fourth heat of the 100m Freestyle which only qualified her as a reserve.
The young swimmer, who has an elder sister Sylvia Tanya Atieno contesting today’s 50m qualifiers, was encouraged to move to her father’s native Germany in 2013 to take advantage of their facilities, as Mombasa does not possess a full size Olympic pool.
Both Steven Maina and Issa Mohamed failed to progress from the heats of the 100m freestyle earlier in the day.