To see all of our 2020 Swammy Awards, click here.
2020 AFRICAN MALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: MOHAMED SAMY, EGYPT
Parlaying a solid (albeit shortened) senior NCAA season with a record-breaking debut in the International Swimming League earns Mohamed Samy the 2020 Swammy Award for African Male Swimmer of the Year.
Samy started off the year in the midst of his fourth and final season with the Indiana Hoosiers. The 23-year-old earned a pair of third-place finishes at the Men’s Big Ten Championships in late February in the 100 and 200 freestyle, took fourth in the 200 IM, and also anchored a pair of winning free relays.
Despite a disappointing third-place finish for Indiana in the team standings, surprisingly falling to Ohio State, Samy contributed 80 points individually. With his final NCAA Championship meet cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Samy ended the year ranked 11th in the country in both the 200 free and 200 IM, 20th in the 100 free and 23rd in the 200 back.
Fast forward eight months, which included travelling back to Egypt and undergoing difficult quarantine conditions that kept him out of the pool for an extended period of time, and Samy was set to make his professional debut with the DC Trident inside the ISL’s Budapest bubble.
Despite only appearing in two meets, the rookie notched six new Egyptian Records, with his top finish being a fifth in the 200 IM in Match 2.
SAMY’S EGYPTIAN RECORDS, 2020 ISL SEASON (SCM)
- Men’s 100 freestyle — 48.09
- Men’s 50 backstroke – 23.58
- Men’s 200 backstroke – 1:57.15
- Men’s 100 IM – 53.04
- Men’s 200 IM – 1:55.84
- Men’s 400 IM – 4:15.92
Prior to the ISL season, the IU alum had no swims on record in short course meters. He adds the six SCM national records to the two he already owns in the long course pool — the 100 freestyle (48.92) and 50 backstroke (24.95).
A member of the Egyptian team at the last two Long Course World Championships, Samy will now seek his first Olympic berth in 2021. His best times of 48.92 and 2:00.68 in the 100 free and 200 IM, respectively, put him within striking distance of the Olympic ‘A’ standards of 48.57 and 1:59.67, though he’ll likely get the nod without hitting those times. His SCY 200 free PB of 1:31.73 also indicates he may have more in the tank than his current best of 1:49.45, with the automatic qualifying time in that event standing at 1:47.02.
Though he didn’t get any official long course racing under his belt this year, according to the USA Swimming database, Samy was in action at the end of 2019 at U.S. Winter Nationals, producing that 200 IM lifetime best along with coming close to his PB in the 100 back (55.32).
- Chad Le Clos (South Africa) – Le Clos was a key cog in the Energy Standard machine for the second straight season in the ISL, amassing the ninth-most points (245.0) among all swimmers over the course of the campaign. This included 10 individual wins over the six matches he appeared in, along with producing the fourth-fastest swims of all-time in the 100 (48.45) and 200 fly (1:48.57) in the final. The 28-year-old Durban native also swam on two Energy Standard relays that went under the existing world record (men’s 4×100 free, men’s 4×100 medley), though they won’t officially count with multiple countries represented.
- 2020 Swammy – Mohamed Samy, Egypt
- 2019 Swammy – Zane Waddell, South Africa
- 2018 Swammy — Chad le Clos, South Africa
- 2017 Swammy — Chad le Clos, South Africa
- 2016 Swammy — Chad le Clos, South Africa
- 2015 Swammy — Chad le Clos, South Africa
- 2014 Swammy — Chad le Clos, South Africa
- 2013 Swammy — Chad le Clos, South Africa