John Kamuyka is a rare sporty commodity here in Botswana.
He is lightning fast and, at age 21, is without doubt one of the best swimmers in the country.
Having already broken a number of local records on the way it seemed he was always destined to be in the water.
Kamuyka started swimming in 1994 at Thornhill Primary School swimming for the school team and quickly progressed from the B to the A team. He furthered his studies at Maru-a-pula and that is where he started competing internationally.
Becoming a phenomenon in the secondary school circuits was just the beginning for the young talented man. His biggest break came in 2007 when he represented Botswana in the All Africa Games; then followed the Olympic Games the following year where he broke the Botswana 50 meter freestyle record, clocking a time of 25.54 seconds.
This year, he has swum in 3 galas; first in the Zone 4 Championships, then in the Central Gauteng Aquatics Championships where he swam 4 events and won three silver medals.
This past weekend, he swam in 6 events of the Botswana short course champs and won all of them.
These races included 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 50m Breast stroke, 50m backstroke, 50m and 100m butterfly.
Kamuyka is an ambitious, determined and confident swimmer who has his eyes set on doing well overseas and not just in Africa.
Coming up later this year are Zambia nationals and world short course champs where he feels confident to qualify for London 2012 Olympics.
“I think I’m going to do well at the upcoming Olympic Games as I’m older, experienced and fitter than I ever was,” he said.
When asked about his greatest inspiration, Kamukya pointed to his family as his sole motivation and encouraged other swimmers not to be afraid of facing challenges in a quest for greatness.
“My inspiration is my family who always stand behind me. I want to put Botswana on the map. My message to all the upcoming swimmers who want to make it big is to train harder,” he said.
It was not always clear sailing for the swimmer, who suffered a major setback in November last year.
“My lowest point in swimming was last year November when I fell and injured my ankle, which meant I had to stop training,” he remarked.
The injury meant he had to stop his usually rigorous training schedule.
“I train as much as possible, which is 5 days a week but which isn’t always possible because of school commitments,” he said.
Kamuyka has high hopes and believes that swimming is slowly growing in Botswana and will one day be one of the major sports codes.
“Swimming in Botswana is still at the amateur stage and will take some time before it reaches greater heights but it has potential to produce world class sporting heroes,” he said.