Top T&T swimmer and four-time Olympian George Bovell III will be back in action today when he competes in the men’s 100-metres individual medley at the Doha, Qatar, leg of the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup at the Hamad Aquatic Centre. The 29-year-old Bovell, an Olympic bronze medallist in the same event in 2004, earned silver last Tuesday in United Arab Emirates in 52.19 seconds, just behind Australian Kenneth To, and will be keen to go one better in the finals which are also carded for later today.
First up for Bovell is the second of three heats in the 100m medley from lane four against Oman’s Aiman Al Kulaibi, UAE’s Obaid Al Jasmi, Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, Colombian Omar Pinzon, Georgios Syrianos of Greece, India’s Agnishwar Jayaprakash and Bahrain’s Khaled Ishmael. To, Townsend and his fellow South African Roland Schoeman are all scheduled to compete in the third and final heat. Tomorrow, Bovell III, a seventh-place finisher in the 50-metres men’s final at the London Olympic Games will also seek to better his silver medal swim in a personal best time of 21.23 from Wednesday when he competes in the third of four heats in the morning session.
The USA-based T&T swimmer will line up in pool four and will go head-to-head with Wednesday’s gold medal winner and Olympic champion Anthony Ervin, Australian Kyle Richardson, Bahrain’s Omar Al-Maliki, China’s Wenjie Pu, Mohammed Madouh (Kuwait), Abdullah Naseib (UAE) and Oman’s Nawaf Al-Qasmi. Among the swimmers in heat four are Andrii Govorov (Ukraine), Krisztian (Hungary) and Ari-Pekka Livkkonen (Finland), while Cameron Simpson (New Zealand), Schoeman (South Africa) and To (Australia) were in heat two.
Speaking on the eve of the meet which will see the swimmers competing for a US$1,500 winners prize of each event and US$1,000 and US$500 for second and third respectively, Bovell said his aim was to improve overall. “My goal here is to swim technically better races in both, and improve my times. Flying the flag up on the podium is always in the back of my mind though.” While he competed in four events last week in UAE, Bovell said that this weekend it will be difficult to do so with the limited time between events. “I was going to race many other events, but here at this stop I think I will just focus on these two races as event schedule runs very quickly, not leaving much time to recover between multiple races in a session.”
On Wednesday at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex, Swimming Pool, in Dubai, UAE, Bovell earned his second silver medal in two days, this time in the men’s 50-metres freestyle final, his pet event in a personal best of 21.23 seconds, while Anthony Ervin (21.18) got gold and Richardson, bronze in 21.58. The other finishers in the final were Schoeman (21.65), Simpson (21.69), Livkkonen (21.77), Govorov (21.93) and Kenyan Jason Dunford (22.09). Earlier in the day, competing in the seventh of eighth heats, Bovell was the top swimmer in 21.62 seconds followed by Simpson (21.78), Richardson (22.07) and Dunford (22.13), who all qualified for the finals.
A double Pan American gold and silver medal winner, Bovell also competed in the men’s 50-metres backstroke on Tuesday but was fifth in his heat in 25.24 seconds, for 12th overall. Following Doha he will go on to compete in Stockholm, Sweden (October 13-14); Moscow, Russia (October 17-18); Berlin, Germany (October 20-21); Beijing, China (November 2-3); Tokyo, Japan (November 6-7) and Singapore (November 10-11).