Alkhaldi feels no pressure, targets PH swim record | Inquirer Sports

Alkhaldi feels no pressure, targets PH swim record

LONDON—Jasmine Alkhaldi dissolved into girly giggles when asked about her expectations in her only event in the pool at the 30th  London Olympics here.

“What chances? Huh! Oh, it’s so tough,” said the tall, 19-year-old charmer. “Coach Pinky (Brosas) told me to have fun and aim for a new (Philippine) record.”

Alkhaldi steps onto the starting block Wednesday morning in the third of seven heats of the highly competitive women’s 100-meter event at Aquatic Centre in Olympic Park in Stratford, north of London.


The half Filipino-half Saudi Arabian totes a personal best of 56.92 seconds in the event, with 44 in the field of 52 here having swam faster. Defending champion Britta Steffen of Germany won the 100m free in Beijing 2008 with a time of  53.12, still slower than four other tankers in her heat who boast a qualifying time of 53.05 or quicker.


Only the top 16 will qualify for the semifinals.

“We just came back from our final practice (Monday morning) and I told her to have fun, ditch the pressure, and aim for the record,” said Brosas, himself a former Olympian. “The depth of the field is overwhelming.

“I’ll be happy if she breaks the record. She still has many good competitive years ahead of her.”

Alkhaldi, an incoming junior at University of Hawaii, plunges into action against Southeast Asian Games rival Mylene Ong of Singapore, Nastja Govejsek of Slovenia, Ester Dara of Hungary, Liliana Lopez of Mexico, Karen Torres of Bolivia and Cielia Tini of Mauritius.

Over lunch at the Athletes Village here with Brosas, fellow swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna and Philippine delegation officials led by chief of mission Manny Lopez, Alkhaldi telegraphed none of the pressure that hounded the already eliminated Lacuna before his 200m free event Saturday.

Lacuna, the first Filipino to be eliminated from the Games, timed a relatively slow one minute 52.91 second and wound up 36th among 40 entries.

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TAGS: Jasmine Alkhaldi, London 2012 Olympics

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