CSI Swimmer Eros Qama off to World Swim Championships; Sets Sights on 2008 Olympics

College of Staten Island senior men’s swimmer Eros Qama, the CUNYAC Men’s Swimmer of the Year, will be boarding a plane to Melbourne, Australia later today, to participate in the 12th Annual FINA World Swim Championships, in an attempt to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics representing Albania.

Coming off an incredible swim season at CSI, where he closed the door on a career that features a combined ten new CSI swim records and a pair of conference championships, Qama is now setting his sights on a national level. In order to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympiad in Beijing, China, Qama must compete in an internationally sanctioned meet. His first opportunity will come when he touches down in Melbourne for the FINA World Championships.

Also known as the Federation Internationale de Natation, FINA is the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and open water swimming. Every two years, FINA conducts world championships in these respective sports, and athletes use their time and/or scores to qualify for Olympic status with their home countries. The 2007 Melbourne Games started on March 17 and continue until April 1. Qama will be participating in the 400-meter Freestyle event on March 25, the 800-meter Freestyle and 200-meter Butterfly events on March 27, and the 100-meter Butterfly event on March 30.

Earlier this week, Qama sat down to discuss his Olympic dreams. He hopes that his times will merit him a place among the Albanian nationals at the 2008 Olympic Games.

“I am aware of the qualifying times of some of the athletes that have already solidified their spots,” Qama said. “Knowing this, I am confident I will be able to put forth my best effort and that should be enough.”

Although knowledge of being CSI’s first-ever Olympian and being a part of something so grand makes Qama giddy, he can’t help but feel grounded until it actually happens.

“It hasn’t happened yet so it hasn’t fazed me,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll find the words to say when everything is set in stone.”

Television coverage of the FINA World Championships from Melbourne, Australia, will begin March 25 and run through April 1 on Fox Sports Net (FSN).

FSN coverage is expected to reach more than 70 million households and be distributed on all Fox Sports Net regional channels. A daily one- or two-hour highlight show, produced and edited by World Championship Sports Network (WCSN), will be shown at 4:00pm local time with re-airs. Please check local listings in your area. Extensive coverage of all disciplines and events will also be available on WCSN. Contact your local cable or satellite operator to see if it is available in your area.

Qama has promised us updates on his travels through Melbourne. Be sure to check the CSI Athletics Website for updates at www.csidolphins.com.

The College of Staten Island is a senior college of The City University of New York, the nation’s leading urban university. CSI offers 35 academic programs, 15 graduate degree programs, and challenging doctoral programs to 12,500 students. Its athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division III level. For more information, visit www.csi.cuny.edu.

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