T&T’s George Bovell seventh place finish in the Men’s 50 metres freestyle final has him seriously considering retirement. “I’m taking it one year at a time. I plan to swim for another year and from there I think I will retire at the World Championships in Barcelona,” said Bovell after he exited the pool at the Aquatic Centre at the Olympic Games in London, England. Bovell touched the wall in 21.82 seconds at the Aquatic Centre, unable to better or match his previous time of 21.77 which he recorded in the both the heats and semifinals in his fourth appearance at the biggest sporting event in the world. “Honestly, sport is really a platform to learn vital life lessons and lets face the facts, failure is a big part of life. It’s about learning how to address it, how to live and move on,” said Bovell. Taking gold was Frenchman Florent Manaudou in a time of 21.34 while USA’s Cullen Jones (21.54) and world record holder Cesar Cielo (21.59) of Brazil, copped silver and bronze, respectively.
Bovell is rated as the most successful swimmer in the Caribbean. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, he won a bronze medal in the 200 individual medley . The local swimmer was a semifinalist at Beijing in 2008 and finished seventh at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships in Shanghai. When asked about a possibility of him competing at the next Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016, he plainly stated: “Rio is far away, not yet.” Over at the Olympic Stadium, T&T women sprinters Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett and Michelle Lee Ahye advanced to the semifinal round of the 100m event. Baptiste as the fastest among the trio with time of 10.96 to top heat one and move on with fourth fastest time of 10.96. Hackett crossed the line in a personal best time in 11.04 and Ahye ran 11.28. The best one the night was American Carmelita Jeter in 10.83. Nigerian Blessing Okagbare (10.93) and Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.94) were the other runners ahead of Baptiste. Earlier in track and field at the Olympic Stadium, T&T athletes had mixed results with hurdler Jehue Gordon advancing to the next round and Ayanna Alexander just missing out on progressing to the next round in the women’s triple jump event.
Gordon was left almost speechless after qualifying for today’s semifinals of the Men’s 400m hurdles on his debut at the Games. “I really don’t know what to say. At my first Olympics, I just wanted to come out here and have some fun. I know a lot of people expect so much from me,” said Gordon, who was being supported by his family including his mother. Running in lane nine, he crossed the line in 49.37 to finish second in heat five behind American Angelo Taylor (49.29). “I focussed on my lane and I executed,” said a proud Gordon, who was already thinking about what he needs to do to go faster in the next round. “My steps were messed up on two hurdles. Once I get it and use the bend a little harder, my time should drop.” Puerto Rican Javier Culson had the best qualifying time of 48.33. Kerron Clement of the USA was next in 48.48 and Omar Cisneros third with 48.63. They all competed in heat four. Meanwhile, over on the other side of the stadium, Alexander had a best attempt of 14.09 to place 14th. It was the third and final try but she just fell short of making the top 12. “I had an amazing season, breaking the national record several times and jumping over 14 metres several times,” said Alexander. “It was my first Olympic Games and is a historical moment because it’s the first time T&T had a woman in the triple-jump at the Games.” At the end of day four of sailing, T&T’s Andrew Lewis is in 45th place after placing 35th and 46th in races seven and eight, respectively in the Men’s laser event at Weymouth and Portland in Dorset. Lewis remains out of the top ten which will progress to the medal. He will return today looking to end on a high note in the final two races of the series.
Men’s Individual: (1) JH OH (Kor) (2) T Furukawa (JPN) (3) X Dai (CHN)
Women’s 10,000m: (1) T Dibaba (ETH) (2) S Kipyego (KEN) (3) V Cheruiyot (KEN)
Men’s Shot Put: (1) T Majewski (POL) (2) D Storl (GER) (3) R Hoffa (USA)
Mixed Doubles: (1) China (2) China (3) Denmark
Women’s Keirin: (1) V Pendleton (GBR) (2) S Guo (CHN) (3) WS Lee (HKG)
Men’s Team Pursuit: (1) Great Britain (2) Australia (3) New Zealand
Men’s Team Sabre: (1) Korea (2) Romania (3) Italy
Men’s +100kg: (1) T Riner (FRA) (2) A Mikhaylin (RUS) (3) R Silva (BRA)/A Toelzer (GER)
Women’s +78kg: (1) I Ortiz (CUB) (2) M Sugimoto (JPN) (3) K Bryant (GBR)/W Tong (CHN)
Men’s Single Sculls: (1) M Drysdale (NZL) (2) O Synek (CZE) (3) A Campbell (GBR)
Men’s Quadruple Sculls: (1) Germany (2) Croatia (3) Australia
Men’s Pair: (1) New Zealand (2) France (3) Great Britain
Women’s Double Sculls: (1) Great Britain (2) Australia (3) Poland
Men’s 50m Rifle Prone: (1) S Martynov (BLR) (2) L Cox (BEL) (3) R Debevec (SLO)
Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol: (1) L Pupo (CUB) (2) V Kumar (IND) (3) F Ding (CHN)
Women’s 200m Backstroke: (1) M Franklin (USA) (2) A Zueva (RUS) (3) E Beisel (USA)
Men’s 100m Butterfly: (1) M Phelps (USA) (2) C Le Clos (RSA)/E Korotyshkin (RUS)
Women’s 800m Freestyle: (1) K Ledecky (USA) (2) G Belmonte (ESP) (3) R Adlington (GBR)
Men’s 50m Freestyle: (1) F Manaudou (FRA) (2) C Jones (USA) (3) C Cielo (BRA)
Men’s Trampoline: (1) D Dong (CHN) (2) D Ushakov (RUS) (3) C Lu (CHN)
Women’s 75kg: (1) S Podobedova (KAZ) (2) N Zabolotnaya (RUS) (3) I Kulesha (BLR)
French swimmer FLORENT MANADOU blew past defending champion Cesar Cielo (Brazil) to win the men’s 50m freestyle final yesterday in 21.34s.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Everybody is definitely going to be running their hearts out tomorrow (today).”
Reigning women’s 100m World champion CARMELITA JETER knows competition will be stiff in the event semifinals this afternoon.
QUIRK OF THE DAY
Disgraced Chinese badminton star, Yu Yang, quit the sport on Thursday after being kicked out of the Games and sent home. Chinese newspapers, including the Shanghai Morning Post, reported that Yu had retired from competition in the wake of the scandal that saw her and seven other athletes disqualified for attempting to lose the women’s doubles group matches. Yu was claimed to have posted a message on the Tencent microblogging service that indicated she would no longer represent her national team or take part in the international professional tour.