SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD Khader Baqlah has made history by becoming the first Jordanian swimmer to make the B qualifying time for an Olympic Games.
Khader was competing at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, and swam a new Jordan record of 1 minute 51.67 seconds in the 200m freestyle.
With no Jordanian swimmer making an A time in Kazan, it means the youngster is virtually guaranteed his spot at next summer’s Rio Olympics and swimming chiefs here have labeled the achievement as “massive” for the sport’s development.
Khader also smashed the Jordan record for the 400m freestyle which he swam in 3:58.71, just 0.2 of a second from the Olympic B time. He smashed the previous record by nearly three-and-a-half seconds.
Jordan has been represented in the swimming events at previous Olympics through ‘wild card’ invitations for nations of swimmers who have not met the qualifying times.
Elsewhere in the pool, 15-year-old Mohammed Bedour set a new personal best time of 1:02.33 in the 100m backstroke.