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Saeed eyes national record

posted on 27/08/2013: 1861 views

Young UAE swimming ace Ali Ahmed Saeed and his Egyptian coach Ashraf Saleh will be competing against the very best of talent on the world junior swimming stage and they are not promising anything out of turn to the home supporters.

However, they are sure the experience of competing against the best swimmers, some of whom have timings close to the best in the senior men's and women's categories, at the fourth Fina World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai from August 26 to 31 is going to be memorable.

"The aim is to get to see and compete against the best juniors in the world. The experience will be priceless and we are lucky to have the best come out here at the Sheikh Hamdan complex,” said Saeed.

"I hope to break a national record at least and get set the bigger goals in my life especially on the Arab, Gulf and Asian events,” Saeed continued. "We have a 11-member contingent with the youngest swimmer being 16. The future is good for them with competitions like this available to them at their doorstep,” said Salah.

The UAE will see 11 promising youngsters taking part. Fresh from his appearance at the 15th Fina World Championships in Barcelona as a member of the two-man senior UAE team, all eyes will be on 17-year old Yaaqoub Youssef Al Saadi, according to an earlier media report.

Al Saadi currently holds the UAE open record for the 200m backstroke, and is expected to produce some good times this week.

Saleh, Al Saadi's club coach at Al Ain, and currently acting National Coach, believes his young charge has great potential. "He is only young and is still developing but is training hard. He didn't swim to his potential in Barcelona but we hope that he can use that experience to help him at World Juniors, and being in his home pool should help” said Saleh.

Saeed currently holds the 50m butterfly record for the UAE and is the Gulf age champion for the 100m butterfly. Ahmed Ateiq Hashel and Abdulla Ali Hatem are also showing great promise and are hoping to make the finals at the Sheikh Hamdan indoor facility.

The UAE Swimming Federation recently set up a residential training programme in Dubai.

"The team has a fairly tough competition schedule which is helping them gain experience and importantly to see what it takes to be an elite swimmer. The World Juniors is another important step in their development, mixing with the world's elite and seeing how they train and prepare is a good education for them,” added Saleh.

"We are pleased with the progress the team is making and are looking forward to seeing them in action next week,” said Ahmed Al Falasi, president of UAE Swimming Association and chairman of the organising committee.

"The experience of competing at this level is a vital step in the development of swimming in the UAE. Contact with top swimming nations helps build our knowledge of the latest training techniques and also inspires our young swimmers to strive to reach their goals,” he added. – Khaleej Times


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