Talita Baqlah has emulated the achievements of her younger brother by breaking a Jordan swimming record at the Olympic pool in Rio de Janeiro.
The 20-year-old clocked 26.48 in heat six for the 50m freestyle, breaking her old mark of 26.57 set last month. She finished fifth in her heat but her time won’t be fast enough for her to advance to the semi-finals.
It was a super swim from the youngster that matched the achievement of 17-year-old Khader who broke the 200m Jordan freestyle record on Sunday.
“I am absolutely thrilled to bits,” said Talita, who is competing at her second Olympics having swam a then personal best of 27.45 seconds in London four years ago.
“I feel that this is a message to all the girls in Jordan that if you really want something you should go for it as your dreams can come true.
“I felt a lot better prepared this time for the race as I was very nervous and afraid in London and I think that experience must have helped my time today.
“I only knew I was coming to Rio last month so it has been a frantic few weeks but all that hard work has been worth it today.”
Talita’s time wasn’t quick enough to secure progress as a sub-25-second swim was required, but, like Khader, the Jordan gap has once again closed on the world’s fastest swimmers.
“I have received fantastic support from back home all through the build-up to this and I just want to say a big thank you to everyone that has backed me, in particular coach Ali and of course my mum and dad. I also want to thank HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein for his encouragement and both the Jordan Olympic Committee and the Jordan Swimming Federation, it has been a big effort from everyone.”
Next up for Jordan is the boxing tomorrow (Saturday) when Hussein Ishaiash fights in the last 16 of the super heavyweight division.