Farida Osman Misses OQT by .02 Seconds; Egypt Names 2 Swimmers to Paris 2024 Olympic Team

Egypt is expected to name two swimmers to its Paris 2024 Olympic Team on Monday: Marwan Elkamash is expected to represent the country in the men’s 800 free, 1500 free, and 10km swim, while Lojine Abdallah is expected to represent the country in the women’s 50 free as a Universality invite.

Notably absent is Farida Osman, arguably the country’s most famous swimmer, who won the country’s first-ever World Aquatics Championship medal in 2017 in the 50 fly when she finished 3rd in Budapest.

Osman’s best time in the 50 free during the qualifying period was 24.72, which is an Olympic “B” standard but misses the Olympic “A” standard by .02 seconds. She is believed to be the first in priority in the 50 free if any “B” standards are taken, but her exclusion seems to validate World Aquatics warnings that swimmers with “B” cuts might not be invited because of the athlete quota.

Instead, Egypt will have to rely on Universality for a female invite. Because of new Universality rules that limits Universality choices to athletes who are no older than 30 as of the end of the year and who have not competed in two prior Olympic Games. Osman, 29, represented Egypt at the 2012, 2016, and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Instead, Abdallah, 19, will race the 200 free with a best time of 2:03.63 that was swum in March at the 13th African Games. That time would have placed her 44th at last year’s World Championships, while Osman’s 24.72 would have finished tied-for-12th in the semi-finals at that meet.

In May, she was named the Best Female Swimmer at the 16th African Swimming Championships after winning gold in the 200 free, 400 free, 800 free, and 1500 free.

Abdallah’s Best Times in Long Course Meters:

  • 50 free – 28.97
  • 100 free – 1:00.11
  • 200 free – 2:03.63
  • 400 free – 4:19.34
  • 800 free – 9:05.26
  • 1500 free – 17:13.46

She trains at Fastlane Swimming Academy in Cairo.

Osman released a statement (translated to English below) apologizing to Egyptian sports fans for not qualifying.

With deep regret and for reasons beyond my control, I announce that I will not be part of the Egyptian delegation participating in the Paris Olympics 2024.

I started the training program from the beginning of the season to reach the best possible level for this cycle. When I was asked to represent Egypt in the World Championships in Doha and the African Games in Ghana, I did not hesitate for a moment about this honor. Through these competitions, I actually obtained the required medals, despite my knowledge of the extent of the impact of these participations on the training program prepared by the technical staff for my participation in the Olympic cycle.

The time I achieved, despite all these difficult circumstances, was 24.72 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle race, 0.02 seconds ahead of 24.70 – A cut. On this basis, I was officially informed by the Egyptian Olympic Committee that I would participate in the Olympic Games. But unfortunately, in the last stages of preparation, as a result of a conflict in the interpretation of the terms of the Olympic qualification regulations, and despite the very close number achieved by the B Cut and my advanced global classification, I was informed again that I would not be able to participate due to the limited quota in Paris.

Now that my dream of representing Egypt in my fourth Olympics has ended because of 0.02 of a second, I am very sad about the difficulty of the situation. Despite the hard efforts and sacrifices made, this is sport. I apologize to all Egyptian sports fans for not participating.

Thank you for your continued support. God destined and whatever He wished He did (And it may be that you dislike a thing and it is better for you…)

I wish success to all members of the Egyptian delegation!! #Paris2024

While the women’s selection was complicated, Elkamash’s was not. The third-time Olympian, aged 30, hit automatic Olympic Qualifying Times in the 800 free (7:46.55) and 1500 free (14:55.19) at the 2023 World Championships, placing 10th and 9th in those races, respectively.

Elkamash attended college in the United States, starting his career at South Carolina before finishing it at Indiana. More recently, he has been training with former US Olympic coach Mark Schubert at The Swim Team in southern California. That group has become one of the best distance groups in the world, with fellow team member David Johnston qualifying to represent the US at the Olympics.

Elkamash has also taken advantage of a new loophole in the qualifying procedures allowing swimmers who race the 800 and/or 1500 in the pool to race the 10km open water race if their country doesn’t already have two qualifiers. The US (Johnston), Spain, and Ireland have also taken advantage of that rule so far.

At last year’s World Championships, Elkamash and Osman were part of a roster of nine men who qualified. Other big names from that roster like Ali Khalafalla and Youssef Ramadan did not hit the qualifying standards for Paris.

Egypt has 38 medals at the Olympics in its history; while two of those are in diving (from 1928), none of them have come in swimming.

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Greg P2
11 days ago

I just think is extremely unfair with having 200 plus swimmers for universitality when we have a very small quota overall for swimming. The IOC have to change the rules. You can have universitality but choose up to one guy and one girl to compete in only 1 sport weather is swimming or any other sport. We are sacrificing a lot of talent in favour of universitality. Just look at the mens 400 IM and 200 IM? How many atheletes with A standart are we going to have? Basicaly if there are no one entering with a B standart you can have a swimmer from the universality quota from Djibouti or some other nation with no swimming tradition making the… Read more »

postgrad swimmer
Reply to  Greg P2
10 days ago

Gotta check those DEI boxes

Tracy Kosinski
11 days ago

Another 💔

NMQ
11 days ago

There are swimmers who qualified via OCT. For example, Agostina Hein (Argentina), who will swim the 800 and 400 free.

ice
11 days ago

There are B cut swimmers invited, albeit likely a very small number. Singapore’s Gan Ching Hwee has been invited based on her 1500 Free B cut. Murky waters in Singapore now though, as Singapore is now being made to choose between letting Ching Hwee go, or utilise the 3rd relay only discretion spot

random
Reply to  ice
10 days ago

Lol after seeing this shit, u cannot break the rules of WAQ OLY quota through appealing

random
Reply to  ice
10 days ago

Lol after seeing stuff like this, you cannot simply break the OLY quota rules by appealing to add some extra ppl
(added comments because of pending approval)

Last edited 10 days ago by random
Dan
11 days ago

Viktor Johansson from Sweden is another swimmer that has taken advantage of the 800/1500 invitation to also swim open water

River Seine
11 days ago

This is heartbreaking. At least she’s been to Olympics 3x.

Greg P2
11 days ago

This just shows that with so few spots for swimming overall (like 850??) we can’t have 200 spots for universality. It’s extremely unfair for athletes like Farida to be out of the games because of it.
WA should have never let the limit be so few spots (850??) for the number 1 sport watched at the Olympics since Sidney. Makes no sense. I’m all for universitality spots but it can’t be at the cost of swimmer of mad the B standart. You should let in the B standarts first and then let in the universayality spots by ranking. Having 1/4 or 1/5 of the swimming quota for universitality is really unfair to some swimmer with B standards being left… Read more »

River Seine
Reply to  Greg P2
11 days ago

“You should let in the B standards first”

It’s impossible because there are hundreds of swimmers B standards. Where do you draw the line?

Swimsy
Reply to  River Seine
11 days ago

There are not hundreds of B swimmers. In some events like the men’s 100 free there are actually 0 eligible entries. There are probably 50 eligible B swimmers.

Dan
Reply to  Swimsy
11 days ago

Used to be hundreds of b-cuts when it was a 3% add on to the A cut instead of the current 0.5% add on in time.

Boz
Reply to  Greg P2
11 days ago

They need to cut the relays from 16 to 12 teams. That would free up 50-60 places without effecting the quality of the relays

Dan
Reply to  Boz
11 days ago

You can free up some spots if you reduce the number of extra relay swimmers that can be taken to the meet. Instead of 2 extra per relay, cut it to 1, It would cut the maximum extra swimmers from 12 to 6. Also allow “relay-only” swimmers to swim events were they have B-cuts and it would also waste fewer spots.

Jeff
Reply to  Boz
10 days ago

I think this is the way to get more OCT swimmers there. Cutting Universality spots means smaller countries cannot get an Olympian. Having a swimmers compete helps them develop the sport. 13th-16th relay spots taking up space more than Universality.

Dan
Reply to  Greg P2
11 days ago

The 828 spots was not just a WA decision, it was an IOC decision.
Adding more sports and reducing the number of athletes.
Might sound odd, but one of the problems is actually the number of staff/support people at the games for each country.

JimSwim22
Reply to  Dan
11 days ago

Like 12 staff for the 8 divers the US is taking?

Dan
Reply to  JimSwim22
10 days ago

I was actually thinking of some countries sending 1 or 2 athletes but 8-12 non-athletes

Jeff
Reply to  Dan
10 days ago

surely as well as the 12 staff for 8 divers for US.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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