Record-breaking Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman reveals Olympics preparation plan

Egypt’s swimming star Farida Osman speaks to Ahram Online from the USA about her recent achievements and her plans for the Rio Olympics

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 12 Mar 2016
Farida Osman
File Photo: Farida Osman of Egypt swims during the women's 100m butterfly final at the Arab Games in Doha December 17, 2011 (Reuters)

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Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman seems at her best ahead of the final corner of the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she dreams of making history.

A student at the University of California, Berkeley, she recently came under the spotlight after breaking several records at the Women’s PAC-12 Swimming Championship on 25 February.

Osman finished the 50-yard freestyle race in 21.32 seconds; a championship record and the second fastest time in the history of the race.

"[I got] the second gold with a new meet record… in the 100-yard butterfly. I also got the silver medal in the 100-yard freestyle,” Farida told Ahram Online via phone from the USA.

"I worked so hard in training and focused on improving my strokes," she said.

She also won the 200-yard relay with 1:26.77m, another Pac-12 championship record.

Road to Rio

Egypt's best-ever swimming achievement came in August last year at the World Championships, which saw Osman and Ahmed Akram breaking 11 national records in the Russian city of Kazan.

The 21-year-old Osman became the first-ever Egyptian to qualify for the women’s 50m butterfly final, just one day after the 20-year-old Akram became the first-ever Egyptian to qualify for the Men's 1,500m final at the World Championships.

Akram finished fourth with 14:53.66m, while Osman finished fifth in the 50m butterfly with a time of 25.78 seconds.

Two months later, Osman continued her fine run at the All-Africa Games in Congo, winning five gold medals and two silvers.

Egypt's team, which includes the country's best-ever duo Osman and Akram, will be on the radar next August at the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

After her recent achievement, Osman now sets her sight on the prestigious event in Rio de Janeiro.

"Being under the spotlight recently means a lot to me, especially as I am competing with the best swimmers in the USA," she explained.

"I will be competing in the NCAA swim meet; the top and last college swim meet of the season. Then I will start to train and compete in different long-course meetings to prepare for the Olympics," she concluded.

In her only Olympic appearance to date in London in 2012, Osman finished 42nd with a time of 26.34 in the 50m freestyle.

In an extended interview with Ahram Online last August, she spoke about her Olympic ambitions, saying “I believe that I can achieve good results in the 100m butterfly at the Olympics, so I will work hard on that, particularly in my training. My current record is 58.2 and I will work hard to make it 57.5 before the Olympics. I know it will be hard amid this tough competition, but rivalry always motivates me."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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