Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman broke her own African continental record in the women’s 50 long course meter butterfly on Saturday at the 2015 Arena Pro Swim Series meet at Santa Clara by swimming a 26.08. That improved upon the 26.12 that she did at the 2013 World Championships as both the new Egyptian National Record, and African Record.
The 20-year old swimmer is trained in the United States at Cal, and has just finished a sensational sophomore season for the Golden Bears. In the 2014-2015 campaign, Osman showed huge leaps forward in her sprint freestyles, as well as the 100 fly, which is an important progression for her as she prepares for a run at Olympic glory.
The 50 fly, however, is the event in which she had her first major international breakthrough and continues to be her best event in the World Championship year, where it is a sponsored medal race. Osman was the 2011 Junior World Championships, she won the 50 fly to become Egypt’s first ever champion at that meet.
In 2013, she swam the 26.12 that was the old record in semi-finals to make more history and become the first Egyptian to qualify for a World Aquatics Championships final (ultimately going 26.17 to finish 7th).
Her short course improvements foreshadowed another surge forward this summer, and so far she’s lived up to that. Osman has swum best times in both the 50 and 100 fly (26.12) in Santa Clara so far, and a month ago at the Speedo Grand Challenge also swam a new personal best in the 100 free (55.60).
She now ranks 12th in the world in the 50 fly this year.
Osman holds the three fastest times in Africa’s history in this event, including a 26.15 that was the record from an earlier meet in 2013. The old record holder before her was South African Lize-Mari Retief who swam 26.61 in 2008.