Seychellois swimmer wins gold, silver at championship meet in South Africa
File Photo: Seychellois swimmer Felicity Passon. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
Passon won gold in the 100m butterfly at the start of the championship and added a silver on Thursday in the 100m freestyle in the elite youth category, setting a new national record of 57.89 seconds. She qualified 3rd overall for the semi final on Friday.
“I am really proud of myself. I came here so I could see my level and I am proud to see that under 19 I am winning,” Passon told SNA on the phone.
Passon is participating in one of the competitions earmarked as a qualification event for the Olympics in Rio, Brazil with the assistance and support of her mother Lydvine Passon.
Lydvine told SNA that her daughter’s participation in South Africa without a coach is not easy but she is still giving her best.
“Under the circumstances I am very very proud and very, very happy. She is a long way from home, a long way from school and doesn’t have a coach. She is giving her best especially in the last two days. She has suffered from a stomach bug but she is not letting anything stop her,” said Lydvine.
Passon says qualifiying for the Olympics is not her main aim but if she gets another chance, she will give her best.
“I already swam my main event which is the 100m butterfly, the event that I have the closest qualification time for Rio. If I do get another chance I will do my best to meet the qualification time and it will be a bonus. If I don’t it’s not the end of the world for me.”
Swimming at high level competitions can be a daunting task without a coach but Passon says she is used to it, plus she has her mother with her all the time.
“I do my training on my own, my coach from England sends different programs, but I’m ok to be here without a coach. I’m used to it. It’s not so bad.”
Lydvine says this is not the first time her daughter is without a coach at a high level event.
“Three years ago when she won nine medals in CANA (Zone 3 competition in Kampala, Uganda) we were also alone, just her and me,” adding hopefully in the future there will be the possibility for her to get her own coach.
After South Africa, Passon who is studying at Plymouth College in England, goes back to school.
“I go back and focus on my studies because I’ve got exams coming up but if I am given another chance to compete for another Rio qualifying event I will do my best to make it.”