It’s not surprising that Jordan’s superb young swimmer Mohammad Al Bdour looks back on 2017 and describes it as “The best year ever”. The youngster can look forward to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires after making the qualifying time and ends the year with a number of new national records and medals won on a local, Arab and Asian level. It has been a joy ride to date for the 17-year-old who is spending the winter working on his technique and building his strength up in the pool. “I was only four years old when I started practicing in sport,” he said. “So I feel like I have been at it a long time despite only being 17. “I was always super excited to participate in sport and have enjoyed the backing of my family from day one.” The long hours in the pool practicing often put teenagers off from the sport, but Al Bdour revels in the challenge of rising to the top of one of the toughest sports out there. “It's very hard, but I am always happy when I practice. It has been difficult to get the right balance of training and school work but both are equally important.” Al Bdour performed well at the World Swimming Championship held in Budapest, Hungary last July, and event that he described as “a learning experience competing with the world’s best”. As well as making two qualifying times for the Youth Olympics next year, Al Bdour won Asian gold for his age in the 50m Freestyle and silver in the 100m. “Qualifying for the Youth Olympics was the best feeling ever,” he said. “It is a dream come true. The Asian medals were obviously another big highlight in what was the best year ever for me.” Al Bdour first hit the headlines four years ago by winning three golds and a silver at the 2013 Arab Swimming Championships. He hopes now that his road will lead him all the way to Tokyo 2020. “My next dream is to qualify for Tokyo, but now I have to focus on the upcoming events and try to improve my times.” Not surprisingly, Al Bdour’s idol is Micheal Phillips who has 23 Olympic gold medals under his belt. “He is a living legend and someone we can all aspire to be. He is a history maker. I just hope I can achieve at least some of his success for Jordan!”
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