Israr fails to make any waves

Pakistan swimmer finishes 54th out of 56 starters in 100m freestyle.


Natasha Raheel July 31, 2012

KARACHI:


Pakistan’s Israr Hussain failed to go past his 100m freestyle heat at the London Olympics, finishing a low 54th in the 56-man event to end the country’s swimming campaign.


After Anam Bandey failed to make a mark in the 400m IM despite improving on her national record, Israr failed to beat his previous time and clocked 57.86 seconds. He began his eight-man heat with the seventh fastest qualifying time but ended the qualifying round only ahead of Tanzania’s Ammaar Ghadiyali and Burundi’s Beni Bertrand. American Nathan Adrian topped the event with a time of 48.19 seconds ahead of South Africa’s Gideon Louw (48.29) and Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verchuren (48.37)

‘Very disappointed’

The Pakistan Army athlete, who admitted that it was a poor show, was now looking forward to future events.

“It’s just disappointing to know that I failed to improve on my national record,” Israr told The Express Tribune. “I was under a lot of pressure but I wanted to record my personal best at the Olympics. The event did not end the way I wanted it to but I’m trying to make peace with it.

“The only consolation is that I did not finish last. I’m proud to be a Pakistani and now I’m proud to be an Olympian.”

Israr rued the absence of a coach to train him at the Olympics but was looking ahead to national events.

Golds out of this world for ‘alien’ Agnel

France’s rising swimming star Yannick Agnel has admitted his gold medals in the London pool have left him feeling like an ‘alien’ as he adjusts to life as an Olympic champion.

Agnel underlined his growing status with victory in the 200m freestyle final.

It prompted French President Francois Hollande to come down from the stands to meet Agnel in the mixed zone to tell him how ‘very proud’ France were of their new hero.

Paris may have lost out on hosting the 2012 Games, but the French are having their revenge in the pool with three golds after Agnel’s title, the relay win and Camille Muffat’s success in the women’s 400m freestyle.

More success could follow for Agnel in the 50m and 100m freestyle, with the 4x200m freestyle relay still to come.

“Since last night, I feel like an alien! It is quite funny and cool,” said Agnel. “I think it will take until the end of the week to think about what has happened.”

Gold stuns teen queen Meilutyte

Meanwhile, Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte became the first 15-year-old Olympic swimming champion for 40 years as she powered to the 100m breaststroke gold medal.

Meilutyte held off fast-finishing American world champion Rebecca Soni to become the first 15-year-old to win an Olympic swimming gold (With additional input from afp)

Israr Hussain

“I was under a lot of pressure. The event did not end the way I wanted it to but I’m trying to make my peace with it. The only consolation is that I did not finish last.”

Jiang Zhixue

“The Chinese athletes, including the swimmers, have undergone nearly 100 drug tests since they arrived. I can tell you that so far there was not a single positive case.”

Yannick Agnel

“Since last night, I feel like an alien! It is really quite funny and cool. I think it will take until the end of the week to think about what has happened.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.

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