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10-year old becomes youngest ever swimmer to compete at world championships

Alzain Tareq is just 10 years old. Credit: Reuters

A ten-year old girl from Bahrain caused a splash after becoming the youngest swimmer ever to compete at a World Championship.

Alzain Tareq, daughter of former professional swimmer Tareq Salem, raced in the women's 50m butterfly heats in Kazan.

Tareq is aiming for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Credit: Reuters

Tareq, who stands at just 4ft 2in, finished last but is already the fastest swimmer in her country.

"I'm happy, I feel so happy. It was really cool," she told reporters after competing against adults almost three times her age.

The Bahrain schoolgirl now has a clear goal just one year from Rio de Janeiro 2016: "I want to swim at the Olympics".

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Dramatic drop in number of people swimming

245,000 fewer people took part in swimming last year. Credit: PA

Despite being the country's most popular sport, swimming in England has seen a huge fall in participation numbers over the last year with 245,000 fewer people taking part.

Funding body Sport England says it is 'disappointed and concerned' at swimming's eight per cent drop which has significantly affected overall participation numbers in sport.

There's also been a drop off in participation across all sports. In the year ending October 2014, 125,100 fewer people did some kind of sport once a week for 30 minutes - bringing the overall number down from 15.7million to 15.6million.

Sports minister Helen Grant, said: "I am very concerned by the overall dip in participation over the last 12 months. Sports governing bodies have long argued that they can bring new people to their sport and funding should go via them but some are simply not delivering and it's not good enough."

Swimming remains the country's most popular sport with over 2.6million people taking part weekly despite the drop, which is certain to lead to a funding cut.

Snapshots: Sports photos of the day

Our selection of Friday's best photographs from the wide world of sport.

Russia's synchronised swimming team trains in Rio de Janeiro. Credit: Reuters
Rafael Nadal celebrates in style after defeating Dudi Sela of Israel in the Australian Open third round. Credit: Reuters
Man's best friend: A touching scene at the annual Sedivackuv dog sled race in the Czech Republic. Credit: Reuters
An Israeli competitor in the World Medieval Fighting Championship – yes, it exists – suits up. Credit: Reuters

Swimming legend Michael Phelps charged with driving offences

Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps has said he is "deeply sorry" after he was charged for driving under the influence and two other offences.

The US swimmer was clocked driving a white 2014 Land Rover at almost twice the speed limit and crossing lanes illegally in a tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland.

He later took to Twitter to apologise for his actions:

Phelps is the most successful Olympic athlete of all time, amassing a total of 22 medals as well as several world records.

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