Pakistan swimmer Anum Banday finished 69th out of 74 contestants at the 15th Fina World Championship 2013 women’s 50-metre breaststroke event in Barcelona yesterday and failed to qualify for the semi-final.
However, the country’s representative in the London Olympics 2012 bettered her own time by 0.2 seconds as she clocked 38.50 seconds. She was, however, 8.72 seconds short of progressing to the next round.
Russia’s Yuliya Efimova topped the preliminary event in 29.78 seconds while US swimmer Jessica Hardy was second in 29.99 seconds. Lithuania’s emerging talent Ruta Meilutyte finished third.
The national record for the 50m breaststroke category stands at 37.94 seconds since 2003 – set by Mehrunnisa Khan at the Afro-Asia Games. None of the subsequent female swimmers of Pakistan have been able to break it to date.
However, Anum and Lianna Swan managed to break three national records despite finishing in the bottom 10 in all four events they participated in.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s two male swimmers failed to better their own time or break any record in the ongoing world championships.
A former national swimmer said that Pakistan’s athletes need to focus on finishing among the top 20 swimmers in each competition in order to take the sport ahead.
“In our time we tried to win an event instead of just bettering our own personal time,” the former swimmer told The Express Tribune. “Breaking a national record is an honour, but one needs to understand that Pakistan records are nowhere close to the international records. We have a very long way to go.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.
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