Nasilowski races against time to qualify for Rio 2016

04 Mar 2016 11:40am
WINDHOEK, 04 MAR (NAMPA) – Namibian Para-athlete, Gideon Nasilowski said he is confident of ultimately achieving his childhood dream of competing at the much-anticipated Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games slated for September.
Nasilowski, also known as the “Brave Swimmer” has represented the country at several major international championships such as the Pan-Pacific Para-Swimming Championships in Pasadena, Los Angeles.
Speaking to Nampa on Thursday, Nasilowski said he currently faces his biggest challenge ever.
“I have always been confident that I will reach the Rio 2016 Paralympic games because I am a hard worker and I dedicated 8 years of my life to this dream.”
The Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic games are scheduled for 7-18 September in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
Around 4,350 athletes from more than 160 countries will travel to Rio to compete in 526 medal events in 22 different sport codes.
However, Nasilowski is left with barely two weeks towards the fast approaching 2016 Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled & Visually Impaired in Bloemfontein – his only chance towards qualification.
“I have to reach that qualifying time but should I not reach it, I still have a chance for a wild card. I will be doing the 50m freestyle and 200m freestyle, and my best chance is in the 50m freestyle.”
The qualifying time Nasilowski needs to meet in the 50 metre freestyle race is 1:02 (one minute and two seconds), whereas his personal best time is a nail-biting (1:26) one minute and 26 seconds.
Furthermore, the 31-year-old “The Amphibian Namibian”, as he is also known, revealed that he will retire from professional sports after his potential participation at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“My plan and dream was only to inspire young athletes to take up the sport of swimming as a profession and for me personally, if I can achieve this goal, then I will retire and in fact this is my last year as a professional athlete.
“My journey is over and I fought my fight but rest assured, that would not be the death of the Amphibian Namibian as I will be coaching new upcoming swimmers in the future because I acquired a lot of experience during my career and I feel it is my responsibility to carry that over to aspiring swimming athletes.”
He further noted that he aspires to be an exemplary athlete as former two-time boxing world champion and current International Boxing Organisation (IBO) Super Bantamweight World Champion Paulus “The Rock” Ambunda and two-time Olympic silver medallist, sprinter Frank Fredericks upon his retirement.