BY Femi Solaja
Like the athletes from outer world, the traveling contingent from Ikoyi Club 1938 to the just concluded Swimfest in Germany have done something extraordinary. Like superhuman, the team emerged top at the annual international swimming competition from 18th-20th of May in Neheim-Husten, Germany.
The journey to the top actually began two years ago when the club (Ikoyi Club 1938) made its maiden appearance at the annual event. With 23 young swimmers to the maiden edition, the contingent mainly school children put up a remarkable performance and it was not a surprise that last year with 35 athletes, the team notched in 25 gold, 31 silver and 27 bronze to finish runner up at the fiesta attended by 37 other clubs from different part of the world.
The geometric projection of the team’s performance has now manifested following the first position of the team to the last edition held at same venue last month. The team made up of 42 swimmers with a combine average age of 11 years returned home a total of 75 gold, 59 silver and 38 bronze medal with several certificates and trophies won for outstanding performances in various categories of play.
Enroute to victory, some of the swimmers were outstanding and among the top medallists are Abduljabar Adama (eight gold, one silver), Chukwudi Kanu (six gold, five silver), Maria Perner (five gold, four silver, one bronze), Kayo Adeniji (five gold, three silver), Iman Adama (three gold, four silver, one bronze), Chiamaka Kanu (two gold, one silver, two bronze), Kika Ebie (two gold, one sliver, one bronze) and Theo Okolo (one gold, two silver and four bronze medals).
In his post event comment, the Vice Chairman/Games Captain of the Club, Oloyede said “he was especially proud of the girls and boys relay teams whose combined average age is 11 years.
The girls relay team comprised of Chiamaka Kanu, Iman Adama, Ameenah Azeez and Maria Perner who came first in both the 4X100m freestyle relay and medley relay team.
“The swimmers who participated in the boys freestyle relay is made up of Abduljabar Adama, Chukwudi Kanu, Kayo Adeniji and Eduvie Oseragbaje. They came third and second in the medley relay and freestyle respectively.
The Games Captain also noted that “given the times the swimmers age 9-13 years achieved; there was no doubt that swimming is a sport that will give prominence to Nigeria in the nearest future,” he pointed out.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Swimming Section, Ikoyi Club 1938, Mr. Abayomi Ogundipe said “he was especially thankful to all our sponsors without whom this achievement would not have been possible. He further noted that the children’s performance and conduct no doubt qualifies them as good ambassadors of Ikoyi Club 1938, their various schools, as well as Nigeria, and are thus, worthy to be celebrated.
“Ikoyi Club 1938 are grateful to all our esteemed sponsors (Zenith Bank, Africa Terminals, Duport Marine and AIICO Insurance) who continue to believe in our vision of taking swimming in Nigeria to greater heights,” he remarked.
The children who represented Ikoyi Club, also swim for their various schools: Children’s International School (CIS) Lekki, Corona School, Victoria Island, Corona School Ikoyi, Grange School Ikeja, St. Saviours School, Ikoyi, St Saviours School Ebute Metta, Meadow Hall School Lekki, Lagoon School, Lekki, Lycée Français Louis Pasteur de Lagos V.I, British International School (BIS), V.I, White Sands School, Lekki and Greenwood School, Ikoyi.