Ethiopian swimmer struggles to finish 100m freestyle swimming heat

Robel Kiros Habte

Ethiopian Olympic swimmer Robel Kiros Habte finished last in the Preliminary Men’s 100m Freestyle heats at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.

The 24 year old was the only one of the 59 entrants in the heats not to complete the distance in under a minute. He was ranked 59th with a time of 1 minute 4.95 seconds. The winner Kyle Chalmers, from Australia, finished on top with a time of 47.9 seconds. He got a huge cheer from the crowd after finally finishing his lap.

“I am so happy because it is my first competition in the Olympics… I wanted to do something different for my country, that’s why I chose swimming. Everybody, every day you wake up in Ethiopia, you run. Not swimming. But I didn’t want to run; I wanted to be a swimmer.” Said the Ethiopia-based university student, whose entry for Rio was secured on a special invitation from world body FINA (International Swimming Federation) extended to athletes from under-represented countries

Prior to the olympics Habte’s best time was 59.9 seconds

According to the Telegraph ‘It may be some time before Habte is described as ‘sculpted’ or ‘chiselled’, and he has no plans on competing again, but he will always be an Olympian. For him, Rio was never about the winning, only the taking part.’


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