Mahmoud Swims First of Two Races at Summer Olympics
Aug. 6, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — University of South Carolina rising junior Akaram Mahmoud was in the pool Saturday at the 2016 Summer Olympics, representing the Gamecocks and his native Egypt in the 400m freestyle. Mahmoud was strong throughout the race and finished 27th in his first of two events in Rio.
One of the world’s top distance swimmers, Mahmoud opened his Olympic journey Saturday in the shorter of his two events. An SEC champion in 2016, Mahmoud will take part in the 1500m freestyle beginning Friday.
When he entered the pool on Saturday, Mahmoud became the 15th different Gamecock swimmer to compete at the Olympics and the first to do so since 2008. His 27th-place result is the best for a Gamecock swimmer at the Olympics since 2004.
Mahmoud spent the entire heat near the head of the field, alternating between first and second place. He surged into the lead after 250 meters and remained near the front for the duration of the race. At the end of the heat, his time of 3:49.46 was just 2.03 seconds off the pace and good for fourth place in his prelim.
The top eight finishers advanced to the medal finals, which will be contested Saturday evening.
“That was a good first swim for Akaram,” South Carolina head swimming coach McGee Moody said. “He might have rushed his first 200 meters, but hopefully he learns from that and settles in for the 1500. That’s his top event; it’s what’s he’s been training for since he joined our program. I think today was a great opportunity for Akaram to get comfortable in the pool and get ready for a big performance on Friday.”
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
Mahmoud will be back in the pool Friday, Aug. 12, for his signature event, the 1500m freestyle. Prelims begin at 12:40 pm ET, with Mahmoud scheduled to participate in the sixth and final heat. He enters the event with the ninth-fastest seed, and the top eight swimmers move on to the medal finals, which will be held Saturday, Aug. 13 at 9:11 pm ET.
Rising junior Julia Vincent, who will represent the Gamecocks and South Africa in the 3-meter springboard dive, starts her Olympic journey on Friday, Aug. 12 with prelims. The top 18 move on to semifinals the next day, with finals scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 14.