Botswana’s swimming sensation Naomi Ruele has finally recovered from a shoulder injury which dogged for the most part of last year. Botswana Swimming Sports Association (BSSA) Secretary Bongi Ruele made a confirmation to this publication on Monday that Naomi is now training and preparing for next swimming competitions.
Ruele picked the shoulder injury while swimming at a swimming gala in Zambia in February last year. However, Naomi went on to swim with that injury in last year’s Africa Youth Games and managed to win two silver medals for Botswana. She also swam while injured at last year’s Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.
Late last year, when this country was preparing for the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, she was excluded from the team due to injury. This was a major blow for the team as they failed to win a single medal and obviously missed the young star.
After ignoring the injury for almost the whole of last year, the swimming sensation then received further medical tests by University of Florida, where she is currently based. She was found to be not fully recovered and the university declared him unfit to perform in any swimming galas. Ruele is studying in Miami, Florida as part of her Botswana National Sport Council scholarship.
“Naomi underwent surgery in November last year and she has been on rehabilitation until January this year. She was declared fit by the university in January and has started training,” said Bongi Ruele.
The teenager is now working on making a comeback and has five swimming galas lining up for her this year before the August World Swimming Championships in Russia. Her first major competition will be the Southern African Senior Nationals in April. The Senior Nationals are a qualifier for World Championships.
Ruele will be coming back to Africa to defend her three medals; two silver and one bronze, which she won in 2014. The local star won two silvers in 50 meter backstroke and 50 meter freestyle before clinching a 100 meter backstroke bronze medal at the SA Senior Nationals competitions.
She will also swim at local competitions in Miami representing the University of Florida next month. This will be her first gala after the shoulder injury halted her progress.
“We have received a report from Miami and it said Naomi has been doing well. They said they are happy with her performance after the injury as she is also looking fit,” said Ruele senior.
Ruele junior is also the only local swimmer who holds a Rio 2016 Scholarship from the Olympic Solidarity which assists her with money and training before the 2016 Brazil Olympics.