Abdel-Rahman Sameh became the first Egyptian swimmer to reach the semi final in the 50m butterfly event at last month's FINA World Championships, with the young talent tipped for big things after a promising start to his career.
The 19-year-old defied the odds to finish 16th in 23.68 seconds in the semis in South Korea's Gwangju, a fine outcome given his age as the country continues to make notable progress in swimming.
Earlier in the competition, Sameh also set an Egyptian record with a finish of 23.54 seconds.
He started swimming at the age of four. Back then, he suffered from asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
"The doctors advised my mom to make me practice swimming. The lungs consequently worked better and I was able to get my energy out."
Sameh has been practicing swimming for 15 years now. His first foray into international championships came when he was 17 years.
He set several records on the national level.
"My first Egyptian record was a 24.16 seconds finish in the 50m butterfly in 2017. I then improved it with the 23.54 seconds finish this year,” he added.
Sameh studies accounting in Louisville University in the United States.
His first participation on the international level was at the 6th FINA World Junior Championships 2017 in Indianapolis, US. Nearly 1,000 athletes from 100 countries took part in this championship.
Sameh finished in 7th place with 24.16 seconds in the men’s 50m butterfly final event.
He also won the gold medal in the 50m butterfly event at the 2018 African Swimming Championships and the silver in the Mediterranean Games in Tarragona in the same year.
Sameh snatched a bronze medal in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last year in Argentina with a finish of 22.43 seconds in the men's 50m freestyle event.
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