x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Personal best in 50m freestyle spurs al Jesmi for future

Abu Dhabi's Saeed al Jesmi concluded a successful individual performance at the World Championships, recording a second personal best of the championships.

Abu Dhabi's Saeed al Jesmi concluded a successful individual performance at the World Championships in Rome yesterday, recording a second personal best of the championships in the men's 50m freestyle. Al Jesmi, 26, finished 123rd out of 209 in yesterday's heats of the men's 50m freestyle, with a personal best of 24.62secs. "It was a good race today. It means a lot to me to have beaten my personal record," said al Jesmi.

"It's a matter of training now. We have championships in Vietnam and China to look forward to in the next few months. With more training I hope to improve even more in those competitions." Mauritania's Mohammed Ahmed Lebyadh struggled to finish the race, taking a little more than a minute and 75 strokes to complete the 50m freestyle, 41.14secs slower than the nearest competitor. Members of the UAE team will be in action today. Al Jesmi's older brother, Obaid al Jesmi is due to compete alongside teammate Ali Saeed in the men's 100m butterfly, with Dubai resident Mohammed al Jhasri seeking a third national record of the championship in the men's 50m backstroke.

Saeed al Jesmi will be back in the pool tomorrow for the team 4x100m medley. "We would like another national record," says al Jesmi. "The team have performed well individually so we are confident we will do well together." The championship has been plagued by controversy over the use of high-tech bodysuits, which are claimed to give the wearer an unfair advantage. Michael Phelps is one swimmer calling for the suits to be banned, after losing the men's 400m freestyle to bodysuit advocate, Paul Biedermann.

Fina, the world body, are now believed to have set date of January 1, 2010 to ban the bodysuits. The move comes partly in response to a threat from Phelps's coach to pull his swimmer from competition until the suits are banned. zgriffiths@thenational.ae