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UAE swimmer Al Jasmi pegs hopes on young ones

UAE’s experienced swimmer sees meet as ideal opportunity to gauge country’s level

Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE’s most experienced swimmer, Obaid Al Jasmi, has insisted he will not be surprised if one of his teammates wins a medal at the 9th Asian Swimming Championships that get underway at the Hamdan Bin Mohammad Sports Complex on Thursday.

“Some of the younger swimmers like Mubarak Salem and Mohammad Ghafri have prepared well for this competition, so I really would not be surprised if they did win a medal or two,” Al Jasmi told Gulf News.

“They are motivated to perform before the home crowd, so we can just wait with our fingers crossed for the competition to begin.”

The three-time UAE Olympian recently took time off for his marriage and as such says he has been unable to get 100 per cent prepared for this competition.

“Maybe I am only 60 per cent ready, but my first goal will be to make it to the final,” Al Jasmi said.

The UAE will have a squad of 11 swimmers in the championships.

“If we win a medal it will be a bonus. And if we do not, then it will still be a good indicator of where UAE swimming stands in comparison to the Asian level,” he added.