2016 AFRICA FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Farida Osman
Egyptian swimming has been on a roll over the past Olympic quad, and it culminates in back-to-back Africa Female Swimmer of the Year Swammy Awards for Farida Osman.
Osman was the only woman in 2016 to break an African record in swimming, doing so in the 100 butterfly. Her 57.83 out of prelims at the Rio Olympics qualified her for the semifinal and broke the continental mark. She held that spot in semis, though she dropped to 58.26 and missed the medal final. Even still, she was the highest-placing swimmer of either gender in Rio, tying with distance freestyler Ahmed Akram.
Osman also swam in the 50 free, going 24.91 and breaking an Egyptian record.
Though the Olympics were the centerpiece of 2016, Osman also gets credit for some excellent short course swimming. The California junior swam her way to three individual NCAA finals, including a national runner-up spot in the 50 free. Her Pac-12-winning time in the 50 free (21.32) ranks as the 6th-fastest swim all-time and makes her the 5th-fastest swimmer in history (Abbey Weitzeil has two of the top 6 swims all-time). Osman also ranks 14th all-time in the 100 yard free with her time from this season and 6th in the 100 yard fly.
In no particular order
- Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwe: the venerable veteran of five Olympic Games was the only African female swimmer to make an Olympic final. She did so in the 200 back, going 2:08.80 for 6th. Even at age 33, Coventry managed her recovery well enough to get faster with each round of her 200 back en route to a lane in that crazy medal final. Coventry was also 11th in the 100 back.