Botswana’s swimming sensation, Naomi Ruele says she is upbeat and eager to impress at Rio when she makes her first appearance at the Rio Olympics this coming weekend. Following some very impressive performances ahead of the Rio Olympics, the 19 year old swimmer says she is now ready to show her worth at the biggest sporting event.
The United States of America (USA) based swimmer has said that even if she fails to make a podium finish at the Olympics, she is prepared to fight for the nation and prove that hard work is critical in every sport. ‘
“For now my priority is to be able to show people that no matter where you come from and who you are one can do what they put their mind to. I want to show everyone what Botswana is capable of and as team Botswana we can succeed,” said Ruele.
Ruele mentioned that it is all about self belief, setting goals and enjoying the sport. ‘
“I am currently enjoying the sport and achieving goals and breaking boundaries that I have set for myself and that is what keeps me going. I just want to go in and show everyone what I can do at the biggest stage and what Botswana is capable of in the sporting arena,” she said.
Building on her impressive performances, Ruele said she wants to break new barriers when she hits the pools of Rio.
Ever since representing the country at the Gaborone 2014, 2nd Africa Youth Games where she garnered a silver medal, the 19 year old has seen a rise in her stock. The swimmer then improved on her performance on the very same year at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, as she set a new personal best in the 100 metres backstroke.
The performances earned her a Zebra scholarship from the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to study at the Florida International University (FIU), in the USA, which is a home to more than 400 student athletes.
Ruele continued to excel at her school and her form saw her lead her University to swimming success at college and NCAA games, an experience which will be critical when she dips into the Olympic pools this coming weekend. Ruele’s performances at the NCAA games saw her crowned FIU’s swimmer of the year.
The Florida based swimmer now remains the country’s only swimmer at the Olympics following an early exit of fellow swimmer David Van der Colff, who failed to make a cut in the 100m backstroke this past Sunday. Despite Van der Colff finishing third in the backstroke race, the USA based swimmer could not make it to the next round. Despite clocking an impressive 57.77 seconds in men’s 100m breaststroke heats and finishing third, 19 year old Van der Colff could however not progress to the semifinals as swimmers make it to the next round according to the rank instead of position.