By Mohamed Assed.
Tripoli, 2 August:
The second Libyan to be called into action at the London Olympics, swimmer Sofyan El-Gadi, failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the 100-metres butterfly on Thursday morning. El-Gadi won heat number one with ease, facing little competition from 15-year-old Iraqi Mohamed Ahmed Dheyaa Al-Azzawi and the Bahraini Khalid Alibaba.
Nevertheless, the Libyan was outside his personal best time of 56.3 seconds, clocking 56.99 seconds in the race.
Forty-three swimmers fought for a place in the semis. However, only the top 16, of whom eight will compete in the final, advanced to the next round. Among them was 20-times gold medalist and legendary Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps, who qualified second fastest.
Sofyan El-Gadi qualified 41st, a long way off the top 16 qualifying spots. That said, El-Gadi has exceeded expectations amongst his peers. He trained and prepared for the London Olympics in difficult circumstances as the country endured its bloody revolution to overthrow Qaddafi.
Competing with the likes of Michael Phelps in the Olympics is in itself a huge feat. This is sure to push El-Gadi to further heights in a promising career. [/restrict]