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College student's Olympic bid - a year after learning to swim

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:14 01 February 2019

Olympic hopeful Eid Aljazairli with the medals from his first swimming competition. Picture: UNHCR

Olympic hopeful Eid Aljazairli with the medals from his first swimming competition. Picture: UNHCR

Barking and Dagenham College

A Barking and Dagenham College student who was unable to swim just a year ago is aiming to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

Eid Aljazairli, 24, was inspired to take up the sport after watching a video about Michael Phelps - and is now planning to follow in his hero’s footsteps by competing in next year’s games.

Eid, who fled Syria and came to the UK 18 months ago, hopes to be part of the Refugee Olympic Team.

The team first competed at Rio 2016 and the International Olympic Committee has already confirmed it will allow athletes to compete under the name in Tokyo.

And Eid, who enrolled on an English for speakers of other languages course at the Rush Green college when he arrived in the country, is making great progress towards achieving his dream.

He gets up at 4.30am every morning to train, with his hard work paying off as he won a gold, a silver and two bronze medals in his first competition.

Eid’s former English teacher Kamila Naeem said: “His story is incredible! I couldn’t be any prouder. All of us at Barking and Dagenham College hope he achieves his Olympic dream.”

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