Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Doctor Is In

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Dr. Ahmed Rashad Sallam, originally from Alexandria and a former Egyptian national open water swimmer with a wealth of international racing experience, continues his participation on the global open water swimming community.

We asked Dr. Sallam, currently a professor of international and business law, about the current generation of Egyptian professional marathon swimmers, including Mazen Aziz and Mohamed El Zanaty, who are doing quite well on the FINA World Cup and FINA Grand Prix circuits.

"The new heroes of Egyptian swimming have enough qualifications and experience to be among the world-leading swimmers. They are a pride of Egypt and [they will] represent our country [well]."

Dr. Sallam, who finished second in the 1987 Windermere World Championships, always had a philosophical view of marathon swimming, "Swimming was my life. I enjoy being in the water. I feel that I have more endurance than the other competitors and learned to be patient and not to consume all my energy. I saved my best for the finish."

He swam in both English Channel and pool: he was a member of the Egyptian National Team’s crossing in 1987 and won a gold medal in the 1500-meter freestyle in the All-African Swimming Championships in Kenya in 1984.

He also competed in the World Open Rivers Championships in Egypt in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991, the 1988 World 25K Swimming Championships in Lake Zurich in 1988, the 1986 World 17 km Open Water Swimming Championships in Evian, Switzerland in 1986.

He also did races as varied as the 18 km Palermo race in Italy in 1986 and the 25 km Sabac, Yugoslavia race in 1985 and most recently played a role in the Egyptian Swimming Federation.

Like his famous predecessor Abdull Latif Abo-Heif who was voted the greatest marathon swimmer of the 20th century, Dr. Sallam has represented his country and the sport well. We see the same for Aziz and El Zanaty who continue to compete in the highest levels of the sport.

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