Angolan Pinotes ruled out of African swimming championship

Pedro Pinotes, one of the most important swimming athletes of Angola, was “forced” to withdraw from the African Zone IV Swimming Championship due to the rules imposed by the organisers of the event to be held from May 3-7 at the Alvalade swimming pool, in Luanda.

The regulation stipulates that from the age of 30, the competitors are restricted to the master category, and the Angolan athelete is in such condition, which is why he had to quit the national team called up for the event.

The decision of the 33-year-old athlete was made in agreement with the management of the Angolan Swimming Federation (FAN), the athlete told ANGOP on Friday in Luanda.

The swimmer, nine-time gold medallist at the 2014 zonal IV in Uganda, explained that such a category does not award points for classification, and it does not make sense for the federation to have expenses with his participation.

Pedro Pinotes said the decision to limit may stem from a “less adequate” interpretation of the rules by the Zonal organisation and the Confederation of African Swimming (CANA), as athletes over 30 years old remain in the high competition without restrictions, as is his case.

Pinotes won 10 gold medals in the 2015 edition of the African Zonal IV in Luanda, in addition to his good performance in the 2016 event in Mauritius, where he obtained five gold medals, two silver and three bronze.

This last edition, according to the source, was one of the most competitive as it served for many of the African swimmers to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games, held in Brazil, where he was present.

Among several records stands out the fact of being the first Angolan to compete in a World Championship in open water.

For this zonal IV, which the country is organising for the second time, after 2015, 80 athletes have been called, 60 for pure swimming (pool) and 20 for open water (sea).

Thirteen nations are confirmed, namely Angola (host), South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, the latter the defending champion.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)