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Former Blue Devil competing for Egypt in Rio By Bart Isley Ali Khalafalla was a one-man wrecking crew for Fork Union swimming as a senior. He was the Scrimmage Play swimmer of the year in 2014 after setting new VISAA state marks in both the 50 and 100-meter freestyle races. He powered the Blue Devils to a team state championship in the process before heading to Indiana University. Now he’s got a chance to make some noise on the international stage. Khalafalla is swimming for Egypt in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. On Thursday, August 11, Khalafalla will compete in the 50-free for the Egyptian National team, one of the premier events in the swimming program. Khalafalla earned his spot with a 22.25 clocking at the Arena Pro Swim Series back in March, then the 10th fastest time in the world. “I’m now in a position where I can improve a lot,” Khalafalla told Olivia Ray of the Hoosier Sports Report in June. “Looking back at what I did in Orlando...I think this is my time to do big things for my country.” Khalafalla qualified on the heels of an
incredible sophomore season at Indiana where he earned four All-American honors in the NCAA Championships. He finished 11th in the nation in the 50-free and set an IU record, breaking it seven times over the course of the season. He also placed 21st in the nation in the 100-free while swimming on a pair of top 12 relay squads for the Hoosiers. At the Big Ten Championships he swam on a conference champion relay team and also took a silver medal in the 50-free while grabbing a bronze in the 100-free. That built on a strong freshman campaign where he was a second team All-Big Ten selection. He also became the fastest-ever Egyptian sprinter in the pool, breaking the 50-meter national record set back in 1995. Khalafalla came the United States from Egypt to accelerate his swimming career and his educational pursuits and was quick to credit his time at Fork Union as a big factor in his development. “That helped me a lot,” Khalafalla told Ray. “(I) improved in every way, academic and (in) athletics.”✖
BELOW » Fork Union graduate Ali Khalafalla, now at Indiana University, will swim for Egypt in the 2016 Rio Olympics. (IU sports information)
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