Third in the pool

Inas Mazhar , Tuesday 20 Feb 2024

Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman took the bronze medal in the World Aquatics Championships, reports Inas Mazhar




Osman displayed an amazing performance of skill and determination to secure a bronze medal in the 50m butterfly at the World Aquatics Championships held in Doha, Qatar. With a lightning-fast time of 25.67 seconds, Osman’s thrilling showing earned her a well-deserved spot on the podium, showcasing her competence on the global stage. She came behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom who clocked 24.63 to clinch the gold medal and silver medalist France’s Melanie Henique who clocked 25.44.

It was the third bronze medal for the 29-year-old Osman in the same race in the same championship, having won it in 2017 and 2019. Celebrating, Osman took to her Facebook account: “This one is for the little girl that fell in love with swimming.”

Osman, the pride of Egypt, has long been a leading force in swimming for her country, enchanting the sport’s supporters with her undeniable talent and steadfast determination. Making a third appearance at the podium at the World Aquatics Championships is a confirmation of a long journey of many years of perseverance. She is an All-Africa Games gold medalist and Egyptian national champion and record-holder. Osman is the fastest female swimmer in Egypt and the rest of Africa, holding senior national records for all the butterfly, freestyle and backstroke events, as well as African records in the 50m and 100m butterfly.

According to World Aquatics, the Egyptian Osman is renowned for her brilliant and exceptional speed and technique in the pool. Osman, dubbed the Golden Fish by Egyptians, displayed unique fineness as she powered through the water with amazing competence. Her meticulousness in each stroke and perfect timing drove her to this outstanding triumph, marking a significant impact in Egyptian swimming history.

The official website of Africa Aquatics sang the praises of the swimmer, also known as the Egyptian butterfly, explaining that Osman is known for her intense competition and razor-thin margins, making every fraction of a second crucial in determining the outcome and that her remarkable time not only secured her a place among the world’s elite swimmers but also solidified her status as one of Egypt’s most celebrated athletes.

Speaking after her incredible performance, Osman expressed her gratitude for the support she received from her coaches, teammates and fans. She emphasised the significance of representing Egypt on the international stage and expressed her pride in bringing home a medal for her country.

Still, Osman never reached the greatest of heights. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, in the 50m freestyle she finished 42nd with a time of 26.34.

However, she was recognised as one of the BBC’s 100 women of 2019.

Osman has been and is still an inspiration to young female swimmers who want to follow her amazing journey.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 22 February, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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