Naomi Ruele Becomes Botswana’s First Olympic Swimmer

30 January 2016: FIU's Naomi Ruele prepares to compete in the 100 yard freestyle as the FIU Golden Panthers faced the University of Miami Hurricanes at the Biscayne Bay Campus Aquatics Center in Miami, Florida.
Photo Courtesy: Sam Lewis


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MIAMI (July 9, 2016) – On Friday, July 8, FIU’s Naomi Ruele received her official selection letter for the 2016 Olympics in Rio (Aug. 5-21) from FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation). The selection makes Ruele just the second female and the first swimmer ever to represent Botswana in the Olympics.

Ruele qualified to represent her home country Olympic Games on March 20. At the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Ruele swam a qualifying time of 26.07 in the 50 Free during the official FINA approved time trial.

During her 2015-16 season at FIU, Ruele, the Conference USA Swimmer of the Year, finished either first or second in the 50 Free 12 times. She has posted times under 23 seconds five times, including a 22.33 in the prelims of the C-USA Championships and her record-setting time of 22.23 in the finals.

Ruele was perfect during the C-USA Championships, winning gold in each of the seven events in which she swam in (three individual, four relays). Named the C-USA Swimmer of the Meet, she also set two school records during the championships (100 Free and 200 Free Relay).

Swimming events for the Summer Olympics begin Aug. 6.

Florida International University contributed this report.


1 comment

  1. avatar

    Samantha Paxinos who is a born and bred citizen of Botswana has already swum for Botswana in the Olympics!