86-year old Egyptian swimmer hailed for competing in Budapest world championships

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 15 Aug 2017

Essam Nasser took part in the Men's 800 Freestyle race, in the 85-89 age group, winning praise on social media sites

Essam Nasser
Essam Nasser

An 86-year old Egyptian swimmer Essam Nasser has received high praise on social media for competing in the 2017 FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest on Monday.

Photos appeared online showing Nasser, a veteran swimmer from the El-Gezira Sporting Club in Cairo, taking part in the biennial aquatic competion.

Initial reports suggested he had won a bronze medal, but official results on the tournament's website later showed him missing out on a top-three position.

Nasser competed in the Men's 800 Freestyle race, in the 85-to-89 age group. Steve Mullins, 85, from the United States, took the gold medal in the race with a time of 18:20.16 minutes, while the bronze one went to Jose Penaloza of Peru.

However, Nasser was hailed on social media networks for his determination and youthful spirit.

"Congratulations. Thank you Nasser, because you give every one of us hope," said Mohamed Badr on the Facebook page Sports News Egypt.

"There must be a warm welcome for him when he returns to Cairo," said Haggar Fouad.

Meanwhile, Hend Kayak posted: "Success isn't related to age."

"I am still 37 years old and just thinking makes me tired," Mohamed Bondok said.

Also on Monday, swimmer Sohair El-Attar, 68, also of the El-Gezira Club, took eleventh place in the Women's 800m Freestyle race (age group 65-69), with a time of 14:04.17 minutes. Cheryl Ann Murray of USA took gold with a time of 11:42.44.

Sohair El Attar
Sohair El-Attar

On 29 July, Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman won the bronze medal in the Women's 50m Butterfly final in Budapest, achieving a time of 25.39s to claim Egypt's first-ever medal in the World Masters Championships.

The event is an international aquatics championship for adults (aged 25 or older) and following the International Swimming Federation (FINA) rules. The championships are held every two years, with competition in all five of FINA's disciplines: swimming, diving, water polo, open-water swimming, and synchronized swimming.

The 2017 tournament in Hungary runs from 7 to 20 August.

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