FINA Communication Department

Botswana’s biggest female swimming hope, Naomi Ruele, has been swimming since her childhood. But in 2015, after being put forward by her National Federation, the 19-year-old Olympian hopeful was awarded the FINA Athletes Scholarship. Since then she had the opportunity to take part in major regional and international swimming competitions around the globe and dramatically improved her technical skills, endurance and times in the last year (table below).

In March 2016, Naomi won the Swimmer of the Year award, delivered by the Florida International University in Miami where she studies, after breaking the Conference USA Championships record in the 50m freestyle.

Naomi's consistent effort and intense training has been paying off and her times have bettered, in the 50/100m freestyle as well as the 50/100m backstroke.

 

50m free

Entry time

100m free

Entry time

50m back

Entry time

100m back

Entry time

Mauritius Nationals – May 2015

27.06

27.14

59.41

1.00.15

30.43

29.86

-

 

FINA Worlds – Kazan July/Aug 2015

-

 

59.64

59.41

29.36

29.86

-

 

All Africa Games – Congo Sept 2015

27.01

27.06

59.12

59.41

29.70

29.36

 

 

Botswana Nationals – Dec 2015

26.52

27.01

59.62

59.12

-

 

-

 

Arena Pro Series – Orlando Mar 2016

26.25

26.52

-

 

-

 

-

 

NCCA collegiate – Atlanta Mar 2016

26.07*

26.25

-

 

-

 

-

 

Mare Nostrum – Barcelona June 2016

27.08

26.07

58.44

59.12

29.64

29.36

1.04.92

1.05.33

*In Atlanta, Naomi achieved a “B” standard qualifying time by clocking 26.07 (Olympic selection time/B time: 26.17). 

Naomi came back on this successful year: “This year has been such a success for me as I have constantly and consistently improved as a swimmer and I have grown as a person. It has been surreal and I look at it as a benchmark for me going further and maybe achieve more best times.”

Grateful to FINA for the scholarship Naomi confessed: “This scholarship has helped me realise how much I have been blessed with being able to train and attend competitions. I appreciate that it has created a gateway for me to have a chance to achieve my dreams which I have had for several years.”

“My goals for Rio are to be able to represent my country with the grace and integrity of a true sportswoman but to also gain the experience that may lead me into a successful career for many years to come.”

The best advice I have ever received was to never doubt myself because I am not from a superpower country as great athletes can be born anywhere

FINA made another Scholarship available to Botswanan swimmer David Van der Colff, 18, who competes in 50m free, 50/100m back and 50m fly. He is benefiting from the Scholarship for 11 months in total (October 2015-September 2016).