T&T’s George Bovell was back to his golden ways yesterday, when he won the men’s 50 metres freestyle on the final day of the FINA/Arena Swimming Short Course World Cup at the Olympiisky Swimming Pool, Moscow, Russia.
It was his third gold medal of the World Cup. He has also won five silver medals.
Swimming from lane three, Bovell, who got silver in the men’s 100m individual medley on Wednesday, was in no mood for a runner-up finish, and sped home in 20.90 seconds, his second sub-21 clocking. American rival, Anthony Ervin (21.11) and Russian Evgeny Lagunov (21.80) took second and third place respectively.
The other finalists were Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (21.82), New Zealand’s Cameron Simpson (21.85), China’s Xuewu Liu (22.15) and Dotta (22.25) while Russian Vitaly Syrnikov was disqualified.
The 29-year-old Bovell was second in his heat in 21.99 seconds, behind Liukkonen (21.94).
The gold medal success put Bovell in contention for the US$100,000 prize which will go to the top men’s swimmer with the most points at the end of the eight legs of competition.
On Sunday night, Bovell won his second gold medal and set a national record when snatching the men’s 50 metres freestyle.
The 20.82 time bettered his 21.06 clocking on the way to silver in Doha, Qatar last week.
On Wednesday, Bovell’s run of gold medals was interrupted when he won his fifth silver in the men’s 100m individual medley.
Yesterday, however, he kept his promise to go one better.
He was obviously disappointed with his silver medal on Wednesday, blaming it on the busy travel schedule. “All this travelling and competing takes its toll on you.”
He added, “I sort of rushed the butterfly leg, and it cost me. Need to fix that for Berlin.”
Following his achievement yesterday, Bovell admitted to being sore. “I wont lie, I came in tonight tired and sore. I am very happy with the way I turned this situation around, sheer deliberate thought. Another sub 21 swim is spectacular.”
Bovell said he was determined to win since his main rival, American Anthony Ervin, made it known that he was coming strong. “You can never underestimate that guy. A few crucial details weren’t perfect tonight, such as a long reach on the finish and a very close flip turn at the wall which I believe leave room for substantial improvement.
“These competitions are attended by the best swimmers in the world and the competition is fierce. Consistency is the key I believe to finishing as one of the overall winners. The challenge is to repeatedly swim extremely fast despite the traveling and the building mental and physical fatigue.”
Bovell will be travelling to Berlin today and will compete tomorrow and Sunday.
This will be followed by stops in Beijing, China, November 2-3; Tokyo, Japan, November 6-7 and the eighth and final stop, Singapore, November 10-11.