Kazan (Russia): Alzain Tareq describes competing against adults at the world championships as 'cool', her idols are swimming stars Cate Campbell and Sarah Sjostrom — and she's only 10 years old.
Ten-year-old Alzain Tareq from Bahrain, looks on after the preliminary heats of the women's 50m butterfly swimming event at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan yesterday. Pic/AFP
The Bahraini caused a splash yesterday morning when she raced in the women's 50m butterfly heats.
The tiny Middle Eastern schoolgirl finished last in her heat after swimming 41.13 seconds, nine behind the heat winner, and is believed to be the youngest swimmer to have ever swum at a world championships.
Overall, she was 15 secs off the fastest time of 25.43 secs, set by Sjostorm, the world record-holder, who swam in a later heat, and was last of the 64 competitors who raced in the event.
Tareq caused a stir in the media mixed zone as reporters clamoured to interview the pint-sized swimmer, who coped admirably with the TV cameras and answered all questions in crystal-clear English.
"I'm happy, I feel so happy. It was really cool," she beamed when asked what it was like to swim against adults here. Bahrain's fastest swimmer has a clear goal: "I want to swim at the Rio Olympics, but I don't want to be last". she said.