Sameera Al-Bitar

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Sameera Al Bitar
Personal information
Nationality  Bahrain
Born (1990-02-21) February 21, 1990 (age 27)
Amman, Jordan
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 60 kg (132 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
College team George Washington University (2009)

Sameera Al Bitar, sometimes listed as "Samira" or "Al-Bitar", (born February 21, 1990 in Jordan),[1] is a 2-time Olympic swimmer from Bahrain.

She was one of the first Muslim women representing an Arabian Peninsula country to swim in the Olympic Games, when she swam for Bahrain in the 50 metre freestyle at the 2004 Summer Olympics. The New York Times reported incorrectly that Bitar was "Bahrain's first female Olympic swimmer";[2] in fact, Fatema Gerashi had represented Bahrain in swimming at the Sydney Olympics four years earlier.[3]

Bitar completed the 50m race with a personal best of 31.00 seconds, enough to win her heat but not enough to advance to the next round.[4][5]

She again represented Bahrain at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing[6][7] and won her heat in the 50m freestyle. Her time of 30.32 was well ahead of second-place finisher in her heat, Benin's Gloria Koussihouede (at 37.09), but nonetheless insufficient to advance to the next round.[8]

She recently graduated from The George Washington University School of Business, where she majored in Finance and Sports Management.[9]


Represented Bahrain in two Olympics (Athens, 2004; Beijing, 2008), four World Championships (Barcelona, 2003; Montreal, 2005; Melbourne, 2007; Rome, 2009), and the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.


  1. ^ Al Bitar's bio page from the 2008 Olympics website; retrieved 2009-07-09.
  2. ^ "SUMMER 2004 GAMES; Tradition Was a Dreamer's Big Obstacle", New York Times, August 21, 2004
  3. ^ "Trio of try-hards splash their way into our hearts", The Times, September 22, 2000
  4. ^ "SUMMER 2004 GAMES; Tradition Was a Dreamer's Big Obstacle", New York Times, August 21, 2004
  5. ^ "Women's 50m freestyle results", BBC, August 12, 2004
  6. ^ "Bahrain gear up for Games", Gulf Daily News, August 1, 2008
  7. ^ Bahrain Athletes Bound for Beijing, (U.S.) Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain; published 2008-07-30, retrieved 2009-07-09.
  8. ^ "Two down, two to go as swimmers fail in Beijing", The New Times, August 16, 2008
  9. ^ Not your average freshman, The GW Hatchet; published 2008-10-9, retrieved 2009-07-09.