Achmat Hassiem

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Achmat Hassiem (born on 6 May 1982) is a South African swimmer who was injured in an attack by a great white shark. He competed at the 2008 Summer Paralympics and he competed at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, United Kingdom.

Personal life[edit]

Hassiem was born on 6 May 1982 in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.[1] He attended Bergvliet High School in Bergvliet, a suburb of Cape Town.[2]

In 2006 his right leg was severed by a four-and-a-half metre long great white shark whilst he was training for lifesaving exams at Muizenberg beach with his brother Tariq; the lower portion of his leg was subsequently amputated.[3][4] Because of the manner in which he sustained his disability Hassiem is nicknamed "Sharkboy".[5]

He is 1.94 metres (6 ft 4 in) tall and weighs 88 kilograms (194 lb).[5]

Swimming[edit]

Hassiem began swimming at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa following his accident. For competition he is categorised in the S10 classification, the classification for swimmers with the most physical ability. He is coached by Brian Button.[5]

He first competed internationally for South Africa at the 2008 Summer Paralympics held in Beijing, People's Republic of China.[4][5] He swam in the men's 100 metre backstroke S10 event finishing sixth in his heat in a time of one minute 1.61 seconds and failing to make the final.[6]

He was selected to represent South Africa at the 2012 Summer Paralympics held in London, United Kingdom, where he competed in the 100 metres butterfly and the 100 and 400 metres freestyle events.[1][4] Swimming events at the Games were held from 30 August to 8 September at the London Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park.[7] On 1 September 2012 Hassiem won a bronze medal in the 100 m butterfly, setting a new African record of 57.76 seconds in the final.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Profile: Achmat Hassiem". The New Age. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Achmat Hassiem swimming at Paralympics". Bergvliet High School. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Achmat Hassiem: 'I could feel my leg being torn apart... I was being attacked by a great white'". The Independent. 20 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "South Africa shark survivor's hope for Paralympic medal". BBC News. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Achmat Hassiem Biography". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games Swimming Men's 100 m Butterfly S10". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Swimming - About". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Hassiem wins bronze at Paralympics". Fox Sports. Associated Press. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Men's 100m Butterfly - S10". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 4 September 2012.