Hard work pays off for Algerian swimmer

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:51 IST

Algeria's Salim Iles achieved a rare feat by reaching the finals in the 50 and 100 metres freestyle at the last Olympics.

Hard work pays off for Algerian swimmer

Paris, Toulouse:

Algeria's Salim Iles achieved a rare feat by reaching the finals in the 50 and 100 metres freestyle at the last Olympics, where he competed with the likes of Pieter van den Hoogenband and Ian Thorpe. Iles was born and brought up in the city of Oran, 400 kilometres west of Algiers in Algeria. The 30-year-old could not achieve his dream of reaching international level in his home country so he emigrated to France where he swam for a Parisian club for ten years before moving to Toulouse. The move to France has benefited both him and his country with Iles becoming one of the most successful Arab swimmers ever. When he reached those two finals in Athens, it was a national event back home in Algeria. Role modelIles also won a bronze medal at the 2002 world championships in Moscow in the 100 metres freestyle, followed by silver in last year's event in Indianapolis. It's hard work and determination that have made Iles a role model for hopeful swimmers in his mother country. Success, he says, didn't come without hard work and painful sacrifices. For now, Iles is thinking about his own progress, and hopes to continue with more success at the forthcoming world championships in Montreal, Canada, in July.(AP)



Topics : Swimming
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