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UWC swimming champ has Tokyo 2020 in her sights

UWC swimming champ has Tokyo 2020 in her sights

SWIMMING: Aniqah Gafoor is a Grade 10 student at UWC Thailand who competed last month for her country Sri Lanka at the South Asian Games in Nepal.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 1 January 2020, 10:30AM

She smashed the country’s national women’s relay record by more than 15 seconds, coming in at 4:00.18 to win the silver medal. Aniqah also earned a bronze in the 100m butterfly.

The Phuket News was fortunate enough to secure some time in Aniqah’s very busy schedule which sees her juggling the demands of an aspiring professional athlete with her academic duties. We asked her a couple of questions to learn more about this future queen of the pool.

Tell us a little about your experiences at the South Asian Games

The South Asian Games was a meet that I will not forget anytime soon. For me it was the first time I traveled and was based with the Sri Lankan team which was a truly great experience and learning curve.

With neither the conditions or the venue not really being the best, it was an invaluable learning experience; it taught us a lot about being able to overcome problems and how to plan effectively for future meets and any challenges that may come with them.

Tell us a little about your daily routine and life at UWC Thailand

My daily routine is very similar throughout the entire week. My mornings start early at 4.30 am when I swim from 5.15 am until around 7.30 am. I then go to school. Once school is finished, around 3.45 pm, it is back to the pool where I train until approximately 6 pm. After swimming I typically undertake an hour of either crossfire or weights, finishing up around 7 pm.

We have Sundays off in order to recover and take both a physical and mental break. UWC is a wonderful school filled with amazing people that really have made me a better person and also supported my swimming career which has helped me grow.

What are your plans and hopes for the future, in and out of the pool?

For the immediate future I am hoping to qualify for the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. In order to do so, however, I need to drop around 3 seconds from my overall time in the 100m butterfly. This is quite achievable although there is a lot of work that needs to be done in order to achieve it.

If I am unable to make it for the upcoming Olympics in Japan then my goal will be the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

Other than swimming, I would like to have a career or experience in the sports science area.

Who is your biggest influence and role model, personally or professionally

I would say my biggest influence is my fellow swim team. They are a great source of support, helping me face challenges and get through any tough times. They also help me grow as a swimmer by making coming to practice everyday fun.

As cliched as it may sound, I would say my role model is Michael Phelps. I admire him greatly and aspire to achieve what he has.

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