In Summary

Natalia – who is a member of theDar es Salaam-based ‘Tanzania Life Saving Society Swimming Club’ (Taliss) – will join Florida’s Swimfast Club.

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s 11-years old ‘junior swimmer’ Natalia Ladha is expected to feature in a US event to be staged in the state of Florida next July, formally known as the ‘Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympic championship.

Natalia – who is a member of theDar es Salaam-based ‘Tanzania Life Saving Society Swimming Club’ (Taliss) – will join Florida’s Swimfast Club.

It will be the second timefor her to feature in a swimming eventin the United States, after that of Miami in July 2017 in which she won two bronze medals in the finals of the 50m and the 100m backstrokestyles.“It was difficult to qualify because I was competing for the first time in a 50m swimming pool.

I was the only Tanzanian swimmer,” said Natalia, who studies at the International School of Tanganyika (IST) in Dar es Salaam. “However, I am still young, and I see a bright future ahead for me. But that will require hard training.” In the pre-event,Natalia shone in seven events: 200m freestyle (a gold medal won in the time of 2.44.46); 200m in Individual Medley (gold medal in 3.18.04); 100m backstroke (gold medal: 1.26.30); 50m butterfly (gold: 40.03), and 100m butterfly (silver medal: 1.38.35).She also qualified for the 50m freestyle race (gold medal: 34.60), and 100m freestyle (gold medal: 1.15.23).

Natalia trained for 10 weeks with the Swimfast during the summer holiday, and was able to compete in three major competitions. These were the Area-2 developmental championships; the Florida International Cup, and the Florida Gold Coast Olympics, collecting 12 medals.