Rome News-Tribune

Regional products compete in same heat at Olympics

- By Eli Boorstein

A few years removed from competing in Cobb County’s swimming pools, Nuna Bamatraf and Emilie Grand’pierre competed on a far greater scale Sunday.

The Summer Olympics. Bamatraf, a Lassiter High School graduate, and Grand’pierre, a Whitefield Academy alum, competed in the same heat of the 100-meter breaststro­ke at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The two American-born swimmers were representi­ng their parents’ homelands — Bamatraf with Yemen, Grand’pierrre with Haiti. They were given the opportunit­y based on an exception FINA — swimming’s internatio­nal governing body — allowed for countries that may not otherwise be able to have an entrant based on performanc­e.

Grand’pierrre, whose sister, Naomy, was the first swimmer to represent Haiti at the Olympics during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, won the heat with a time of 1 minute, 14.82 seconds. Bamatraf was fifth at 1:27.79.

Neither swimmer was able to record a top-16 time to qualify for the semifinals, but the experience of competing was more of what they were getting out of the voyage.

After their time in Tokyo, the swimmers will turn their focus back to college — Bamatraf as a rising senior at Depauw University in Indiana, and Grand’pierre as a rising junior at Bowdoin College in Maine.

Bamatraf and Grand’pierre are among seven Cobb County products set to compete in Tokyo, in addition to soccer players Emily Sonnett and Jane Campbell, track and field athletes Kendell Williams and Daniel Haugh, and Paralympia­n goalball player Matt Simpson.

 ??  ?? Nuna Bamatraf
Nuna Bamatraf
 ??  ?? Emilie Grand’pierre
Emilie Grand’pierre

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States