Anum Bandey breaks Pak record in London

KARACHI: Pakistan’s England-born swimmer Anum Bandey on Saturday bettered her own national record when she clocked 5:34.64 in the opening heat of the 400m Individual Medley event of women’s swimming at London 2012 Olympic Games.

Aiming to deliver her best, the 15-year-old Anum lived up to expectations. Although her more preferred event is the 200m breaststroke, Anum was given the opportunity to show her worth at London 2012 in the 400m IM on wild card.

At last year’s World Championships in Shanghai, Anum had broken Olympian Kiran Khan’s 400m IM national record by clocking 5:37.11.

In London, Anum had entered the fray as the swimmer with the lowest timing among the 36 competitors who took part in the 400m IM heats. The timings of her other rivals was less than five minutes, much better than Anum’s.

“She has done a wonderful job by breaking her own national record,” Pakistan Swimming Federation (PSF) secretary Major Majid Wasim told ‘The News’ after Anum’s showing at the Aquatic Centre nestled in the Olympic Park.

“I think she is the only Pakistani swimmer in Olympic history, who has performed so well,” he said.

“Neither Rubab Raza, Kiran Khan or Adil Baig have done so well in Olympics,” added Majid, who had come under criticism for sending Anum Bandey to the World Championship in China last year.

“The way Anum has performed in London, I can confidently say that she will win a gold medal in the South Asian Game, a feat that has never been achieved by any of our female swimmers,” Majid stressed.
Rabia Ashiq, another Pakistani athlete, will compete in the 800m event on August 8. Rabia, who belongs to Lahore, bettered her personal best timing in the 800m by clocking 2.18 at the Asian Championship in Kobe (Japan) last year.