Swimming butterfly Farida Osman takes another shot at Olympic medal

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Friday 23 Jul 2021

Egypt s best-ever swimmer will make her third appearance at the Olympic Games

Swimming butterfly Farida Osman
Swimming butterfly Farida Osman

Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman will be keen to finally deliver on the Olympic stage after making history for her country with outstanding results and records in recent years.

The 26-year-old booked her place at the Tokyo Games after claiming the gold medal of the 100 metres butterfly with a time of 57.84 seconds at the International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA), which was held in the US in March.

"[I] can't wait to represent Egypt at my third Olympics this summer. Thank you all for your continuous support," Osman said on her Twitter account after sealing progress.

Osman made her first Olympic appearance in London in 2012 at the age of 17, but could only finish 42nd in the 50m freestyle.

Four years later, at the Rio de Janeiro Games, she finished 18th in the 50m freestyle and qualified for the semis in the 100m butterfly event, coming up fifth in her heat - 12th overall - with a time of 58.26, setting an African record in the process.

Since then, Osman has made history, giving Egypt its first ever medal in the FINA World Championship after winning the bronze in 2017 in the 50m butterfly. She cemented her iconic status by winning a bronze again in 2019 in the same event. 

"I was the first Arab woman to reach the podium, the first Egyptian to win a gold medal at Junior World Championships (in a WR time), the first Egyptian to final at Senior World Championships, the first Egyptian or Arab woman to semi-final in the Olympics, and most importantly, the first Egyptian to medal at World Championships," she told the Olympics website. 

At the Tokyo Games, Osman will be competing in both the 100m butterfly and the 50m freestyle events.

The 50m butterfly is her forte but the event is not included in the Olympic Games and, consequently, she will take a shot at an Olympic medal in the 100m butterfly.

"I hope that I can make a new achievement that makes my country proud at the Tokyo Olympics," Osman said in a television interview last November.

Success story

Farid started swimming at the age of four and represented Egypt at the 2011 FINA Junior World Championships before becoming an Olympian at the age of 17, when she was invited to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Osman, who started her career at Cairo's Gezira Club, came under the spotlight after finishing 7th in the 2013 Barcelona World Championships, marking the best ever result for Egypt at the World Swimming Championships.

A major switch in her career occurred when she joined University of California in 2013 to train with the Cal squad.

"Deciding to stay in the US without my family and friends was the main challenge ahead of the championship. I was even cooking for myself. I intended to do all that I could to be on top form," Osman told Ahram Online ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The Egyptian butterfly gave Egypt its first-ever medal at by winning a bronze medal in the 50m butterfly event at the World Championship in Budapest in 2017. She was chosen as the Best Female athlete from Africa in the same year.

Osman enhanced her reputation as Egypt's best ever swimmer after shining again in the 2019 edition, claiming the bronze medal in the 50m butterfly event after clocking 25.78 seconds, an African record at the time.

"I promise all the Egyptians that I will do my best during in training camps in the coming period to achieve the dream of winning an Olympic medal in Tokyo," Osman told local media in 2019.

In the entire history of the Olympic Games, only five African women have won a medal in swimming. Osman might be the sixth.

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