On the heels of record-shattering performances at the California Community College Athletic Association's championship meet, freshman Ahmed Mathlouthi will compete in the 200 meter freestyle in the 2012 Olympics.
Mathlouthi, 22, will represent his home country of Tunisia.
The freshman swimmer mesmerized spectators and coaches by setting three California Community College records in winning all three of his individual events at the East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium in April, the California Community College Sports Information Association wrote in a press release issued in June announcing Mathlouthi as its Men's Athlete of the Year.
One of the state records also set a new national standard. The Corsair opened the meet with a record in the 500-yard freestyle, breaking the old state mark
by 4.6 seconds, and demolishing the national record by 3.5 seconds (4:18.90). On the second day of the meet, he shattered the 200 freestyle state record by 1.8 seconds. And on the final day of the championships, Mathlouthi annihilated the state record in the most difficult/endurance event the 1,650-yard freestyle, breaking the record by 11 seconds (15:07.30). In that race he beat the
second place finisher by 1 minute, 2 seconds.
"His combined efforts at state will go down as one of the greatest single performances of any sport ever in California Community College athletic history," the press release stated. "He finished as an All-American in seven different events (three relays) and was the nation’s fastest swimmer this season in the three state-winning events."
The men's 200-meter semifinals in London begins 9 a.m. Saturday
He Tweeted about the Olympics on July 10:
Actually getting ready for the olympics is kinda fun ;-)
Santa Monica College Olympians
(information courtesy of Santa Monica College)
- Gary Sato (as a coach): attended SMC in 1973-77 before heading on to become an All-American outside hitter at the University of California at Santa Barbara. A distinguished coach, he was the assistant coach of the 1986 World Championship team and the 1987 Pan American Games. He then served as the head coach for the gold-medal win at the 1985 FIVB world cup in Japan and was voted most valuable coach of the tournament. Gary was the assistant coach for the 1988 Olympic Gold medal team in Seoul and in 1992 he coached the Olympic team that won bronze.
- Liane Sato (Gary’s sister): Liane attended SMC in 2002, but played collegiate volleyball at San Diego State University. She played professional beach volleyball before joining the 1988 and 1992 USA Olympic Women’s Teams. She was an Olympic bronze medalist at the 1992 games after winning a bronze in the 1990 World Championships.
- Lenny Krayzelburg: four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming. Krayzelburg stroked his way to four Olympic gold medals, three in the 2000 Sydney Games and one in Athens in 2004. While attending SMC from 1992 to 1994, he won three California Junior College Conference Championships under the tutelage of swimming coach Stu Blumkin. Krayzelburg received his bachelor’s degree from USC.
- Johnny Gray: four-time track and field Olympian who won a bronze medal in the 1992 Games in Barcelona. Gray’s two-decade career as a competitive sprinter spans four Olympic games, earning him the bronze medal in 1992. He also twice won the gold at the Pan American Games. He still holds the American 800-meter indoor and outdoor records. Gray attended SMC from 1979 through 1980 and graduated from Arizona State University in 1982.
- Tommie Smith coached SMC’s track and field teams from 1978 until his retirement in 2005. As a competitive sprinter, he is the only man in track history to hold 11 world records simultaneously. Winner of the gold medal in the 200-meter at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Smith tied or broke 13 world records while a student at San Jose State University in the 1950s. Aside from his coaching, Smith also taught sociology, health and physical education classes while at SMC and served as interim athletic director.