Saturday, July 28, 2012

NEWS: Mongolian self-coached swimmer enjoys Olympic show

Originally posted on July 25, 2012

The Mongolia Olympic team and delegates enter the athlete's village during a welcome ceremony with a performance by the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain at Olympic Park on July 22, 2012 in London, England.
BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua) -- For Mongolian self-coached swimmer Tamir Andryei, a berth at London Olympics was just like what eight gold medals means to U.S. prodigy Michael Phelps.

"I'm really excited to be here, and I'm relishing the opportunity to swim in the Olympic pool," said the 26-year-old on Tuesday, who will swim the 100m freestyle in London.

Andryei is coaching himself and teammate Oyungerel Gantumur, the only two swimmers from Mongolia to compete in swimming events.

Though never qualified in reaching any semifinal at Olympics or World Championships, the happy-go-lucky seemed never discouraged. "We are training six days a week and five hours a day. We do enjoy the preparations for Olympics."

Andryei had participated in the 100m freestyle at Athens Games, and failed to secure a berth in semi-final. Without a place at Beijing Olympics, he experienced the 2011 Shanghai Championships by competing in the heats of 50m and 100m freestyle.

His teammate Oyungerel Gantumur, who will swim in women's 100m breaststroke in London, was earlier a butterfly specialist. She competed in 50m and 100m butterfly at Shanghai World Championships last year and the 2009 Rome worlds, both finished at heats.

"One big problem for us is our tumble turns, which we have to improve in order to go further," said Andryei, who coached a number of Mongolian swimmers in the past years.

"In Mongolia, we don't have a 50m pool to practise in," he said, citing one of the factors affecting their results.

The swimming events is slated for July 28 to August 4 at London Olympics, with 496 swimmers competing for 34 gold medals including 32 in pool and two in open water.

Word List:
  • berth: added to a list of competitors to compete
  • to relish: to get great pleasure or satisfaction from something
  • freestyle: a fast style of swimming in which you lie on your front and move one arm over your head and then the other while kicking your legs
  • butterfly: a way of swimming in which you lie on your front and move both your arms together above your head in a circular movement while moving your legs up and down together
  • "tumble turn": or "flip turn" is a technique of turns in swimming, used to reverse the direction in which they are swimming.
  • to slate: to arrange for something to happen