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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 10:01, December 05, 2006
Syrian Almasri claims men's 50m freestyle in Asiad
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Rafd Zyad Almasri claimed the first swimming gold for Syria in this Asian Games on Monday when he won in the men's 50m freestyle.

Almasri, 24, clocked a time of 22.41 to triumph while Japanese Makoto Ito was second in 22.77.

Almasri said he lives in Germany with his family and trains there.

"I was born in Berlin as my family moved to Germany 40 years ago," he said after the victory in his first ever Asian Games trip.

"The 50m free is my favorite event. I hope that I can qualify for the final next year in the world championships and hopefully get a medal," said the sport and philosophy student.

The 2007 swimming world championships will take place in Melbourne, Australia on March 17 through to April 1.

"I didn't live in Syria so I really don't know whether this is the first Asian Games swimming gold for the country," he said.

But his teammat Mireille Hakimeh, entering women's 50m backstroke and freestyle, said he made a history.

"This is the first Asian Games swimming gold for Syria. I am very happy for him," she said.

Cai Li from China took bronze in 22.95.

Defending champion Ravil Nachaev from Uzbekistan finished fifth in 23.27.

Source: Xinhua

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