Grace Noble Kathleen is one of Uganda's athletes already qualified for the Olympics Credit: Courtesy

Uganda’s female rower Grace Noble Kathleen, 24, became the first rower to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

Based in the United States of America, Kathleen made the grade after racing the 2KM race in the single scull catergory during the Africa Rowing regatta held at Lake Tunis, Tunisia.

Kathleen finished as number one in the B final, after clocking 8 minutes and 36 seconds.

I am excited about having qualified for the Olympics. It is a dream come true having trained for a very long time. Special thanks to my training mates and the coach (Hassan Ismael) for the effort undertaken to prepare.

Grace Noble Kathleen, Ugandan Rower
Grace Noble Kathleen

Kathleen was born in a village called Kiwoko, Luweero – central Uganda to Gerry and Moira Noble, the father was a practicing doctor in Luweero at the time (the family has since relocated to Lubowa, along Entebbe road).

She is currently based in the Utah state Salt Lake City, United States of America (USA).

Kathleen picked up rowing when she joined Princeton University in the United States of America.

She was part of the Ugandan team at the 2012 World Swimming Championship in Istanbul, Turkey.

Her maiden rowing championship for Uganda was during the 2016 World Rowing U-23 event held in Rotterdam, Holland.

Grace Noble Kathleen smiles after her victory in Tunisia

Preparations:

With less than nine months to the kick off the Summer Olympic games in Tokyo, Kathleen intends to start early preparations ahead of the games.

I will embark on a vigorous training regime back in Salt Lake City with my coach so that I can undertake serious preparations.

Grace Noble Kathleen, Uganda Rower

Meanwhile, Uganda’s other rower Douglas Kisalare failed his bid to qualify for the Olympics finishing fourth in the single men Scull B event.

The Summer Olympic games will take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

Grace Noble Kathleen in action during the 2019 Africa Rowing Regatta held on Lake Tunis in Tunisia Credit: Courtesy

Over 206 countries are expected to take part in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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