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Al Beshir fails to match personal best

UAE swimmer blames it on stage fright

UAE’s Mubarak Al Bashir swims at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park in London
Image Credit: AP
UAE’s Mubarak Al Bashir swims at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park in London yesterday.
Gulf News

London: The UAE’s Mubarak Salem Al Beshir was disappointed that he could not achieve his personal best and UAE record in the men’s 100m breaststroke at the 2012 London Olympic Games that got under way at the Aquatics Centre here on Saturday.

Swimming in a group of four that included athletes from Gabon, Lebanon and Surinam, Al Beshir finished second with a time of 1 min 05.26 secs to come in second in the heat. Only the winner was scheduled to qualify to the semi-finals, and that honour went to Amini Fonua of Tonga as he topped the heat with a time of 1:03.65.

“My aim was the national record, but I simply could not push myself in the last 20 metres,” Al Beshir told Gulf News. “I was nervous. This is my first time at an Olympics. But I am glad I came and experienced this feeling as this can be a great learning experience for me in the future,” the 24-year-old Al Wasl swimmer said.

Al Beshir started off well, but started fading off after the 50m turnaround. “I tried so much not to think of the moment, but something happened towards the end and I just could not push myself,” he said. “I am disappointed as I could not fulfil my goal,” he shrugged.

In a field of 44 in the 100m breaststroke heats, the UAE swimmer’s time of 1:05.26 was placed at No.42. Australian Christian Sprenger set the best time of 59.62 secs, while Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima was second best with 59.63 secs and Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis third with 59.68. The world record stands at 58.58 secs in the name of Australian Brenton Rickard, who incidentally qualified in No.14 with a time of 1:00.07.