Swimming: Mohamed Diop tested the pool in Duna Arena for the second time
Mohamed Diop, member of the FINA Bureau Masters Liaison had a twofold role at the 17th FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest. He entered swimming events as the sole representative of his home country, Senegal. He jumped in the pool multiple times, 50m breaststroke heats were held on the closing day and he was among the entrants again. In his age group (50-54) he did a great job and finished second, improving his qualifying time significantly.
The FINA Bureau Masters Liaison member has already gained some first-hand experience of the good quality of water as well as of the excellent pool in Duna Arena before. He was positive about his performance admitting that he could have done better on Sunday.
“Neither the start nor the finish went as good as they should have. My time was 35.6 and I am satisfied with it” – he said.
He did better than many of those who entered the heat with better qualification time. What is more, Mohamed Diop achieved this result in spite of all the infrastructural deficiencies of his country.
“I have been swimming since 1971 and I have never swum in a proper pool during my entire career. I had to train in my own pool where actually there are no separate lanes” – he admitted.
Although circumstances have improved by now, there are only few proper swimming complexes in Africa. In fact, one of them is located in Senegal:
,,Now we have a swimming complex, however, this is the only one in the entire country. Yet the 14 million inhabitants are glad about it, this is absolutely enough for us.”
No surprise, very few people take up swimming in Senegal, but the daughter of Mohamed Diop is one of the few.
“In fact she is now thinking about quitting swimming. For one thing because of her studies, for another thing, she loves playing basketball, as well, and her height is appropriate for this sport” – he summed up his daughter’s plans.
By the way, Mohamed Diop likes playing basketball, his favourite player is of course Michael Jordan. Also, he loves cycling and loves sport in general, especially because he has made a lot of friends through sport. He has some favourites in the field of international swimming, including Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi, for instance.