Pakistan’s Liana targets glory at C’wealth Games

KARACHI: Pakistan swimmer Lianna Swan is aiming to set new national records when she competes at the 2014 Commonwealth Games which started in Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday. The Dubai-based Lianna qualified for the Commonwealth Games after a string of record-breaking performances in the Pakistan National Championship in June where she won nine gold and three silver medals. The 17-year-old already holds seven national records, but she is now aiming to go even faster in Glasgow, where she will compete in the 50 and 100-metre breaststroke, 50 and 100-metre freestyle and the 200-metre individual medley. “Medalling at the Commonwealth Games may be a little unrealistic, I’m going more for the experience,” Lianna told Gulf News in an interview, ahead of what will be her seventh national team appearance.
Lianna who was born in Bahrain to a British father and a Pakistan mother said her main targets were personal bests in both the 50-metre breaststroke and freestyle. For the teenager who began taking swimming seriously when she moved to Dubai six years ago and started training with Hamilton Aquatics, representing Pakistan was going to be an honour regardless of how she fares at the Games. “Whatever happens, I’m extremely proud to be representing my country. I’ve waited a long time to hear if I had made the team after the nationals but now I know I’m going, I’m just really looking forward to it. Compared to my previous events, this is so much bigger in scale, so it should be an amazing experience.” Her first race is the 50-metre breaststroke this Thursday; followed by the 50-metre freestyle on Friday and then the 100-metre breaststroke, 100-metre freestyle and the 200-metre individual medley are all on Sunday. This will be Lianna’s seventh national team appearance.

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Aaj Kal