London, UK – The first ever Ethiopian swimmer to compete at the Olympics is a hero in a country more famed for its long-distance runners

When Yanet Seyoum took to the water for her Olympics 50m freestyle heat, it was a fair bet that most of her fellow competitors would not have endured a training regime of avoiding doggy-paddling tourists in a hotel swimming pool, or relied mainly on written instructions from a coach who lives in another city.

Seyoum – the first swimmer from Ethoipia to ever make it to the Olympics – came last in her heat and failed to make it to the semi-final. Her finishing time was a personal best of 32:41, a whole 2:40 slower than the heat winner Karin Clashing O’Reilly of Antigua and Barbuda and nearly eight seconds behind the fastest qualifier, the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

But the 18-year-old, a lone swimmer in a country famed for its long distance runners, has high hopes for the future. Read more on The Guardian.

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