A Bahrain swimmer born in 2005 became the youngest athlete to compete at the World Swimming Championships, according to reports from Kazan, Russia.
Alzain Tareq, 10, clocked 41.13 seconds to place 64th out of 64 swimmers in Friday morning’s 50-meter butterfly heats, 15.70 seconds behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, the fastest qualifier into the 16-swimmer semifinals. Here’s video of Tareq’s swim.
Then Tareq answered questions in English from a group of media.
“I am so happy to be here,” she said, according to Reuters. “I want to be able to learn the techniques and how they swim.
“I am the fastest swimmer in Bahrain, and so they chose me.”
FINA does not have minimum age limits for competitors, according to Reuters and Agence France-Presse.
“I was wondering how they make suits that small,” Missy Franklin said, according to The Associated Press. “She is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Tareq, who is also entered in the 50m freestyle that starts Saturday, said her goal is to eventually qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, according to the AP.