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Paraguayan swimmers train for Olympics in Brazil

05-14-2012 11:27 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Paraguayan swimmers Benjamin Hockin and Genaro Britez have been granted permission by Brazil's swimming confederation to prepare for the London Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The request to train at Rio's Maria Lenk aquatic center was made due to the absence of a 50m pool in Paraguay.

Hockin, who has already qualified for the 200m freestyle event in London, said his preparation in Brazil was vital ahead of the Olympics.

"We came here because in Paraguay we train in a 25m pool," Hockin said.

"It's important to get a rhythm happening in a pool that is the same length as the Olympics. These facilities in Rio are fantastic; they have just what we need."

Colombian-born Hockin competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for Britain, the nationality held by his father.

He decided to switch to his mother's native Paraguay shortly after and was the country's flag-bearer at last year's Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Upon qualifying for the London Games in March, the 25-year-old called on Paraguay's president Fernando Lugo to end delays in plans for the construction of an Olympic-sized pool.

"I hope the president is listening and that he finally decides to do something," Hockin said.

"They have been talking about building this pool for 30 years. It's not due to the lack of money but the lack of will."

Unlike Hockin, Britez is still striving for Olympic qualification in his pet event, the 100m breaststroke.

In his first attempt since arriving in Rio last week, Britez was more than five seconds outside the Olympic A-standard of 1 minute and 0.79 second.

"We are training as hard as we can. My time last week was a little high but I'm in an exhaustive training program so it wasn't that bad.

"I really appreciate the opportunity to train here and hope to be able to continue doing so with a view to the 2016 Olympics."

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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