T&T’s George Bovell’s run of gold medals came to a halt yesterday when he was beaten into second for the third time in four finals by Australian Kenneth To in the 100-metre individual medley, this time at the Moscow, Russia leg of the FINA/Arena Swimming Short Course World Cup, yesterday.
Bovell, 29, swimming out of lane three in the eight-man final touched the wall in 51.81 seconds to trail To (51.66), while South Africa’s Darian Townsend took bronze in 53.19.
At the halfway stage of the race, Bovell (24.19 seconds) was third behind To (23.32) and Townsend (23.93), after the butterfly and backstroke swims but over the second 50 metres (breaststroke and freestyle), he turned up the heat to finish in a strong 27.62 seconds while To raced home in 28.34, to snatch the gold medal.
The other finishers were Italian Fabio Scozzoli and Brazil’s Henriques Rodrigues, who were joint fourth in 53.83, Israel’s Gal Nevo (54.53), Russian Nikita Denisyako (55.21) and Brazilian Thiago Simon (55.42).
Commenting on his swim via social media network (twitter.com), Bovell tweeted: “Silver tonight in Moscow. Felt like I exerted myself more but .3 slower. Still 51.8! All this traveling and competing takes its toll on you.”
Bovell confessed he rushed the butterfly leg, and this may have cost him.
Bovell was the top qualifier in heat four, swimming from lane four in 53.80 seconds, while Simon was second in 55.01, and Russia’s Vladislav Seryy, third in 55.54.
Bovell’s time was the third best qualifying time overall for the final and Simon’s the sixth fastest as Townsend (53.49) and To (53.73) the top two swimmers from the fifth and final heat also attained the best two times.
South American Henriques (54.15) won heat three ahead of Scozzoli (54.40) for the fourth and fifth best qualifying times while Denisyako (55.21) and Nevo (55.27) qualified as the fastest swimmers in heat one.
On Saturday, Bovell won the event in Stockholm, Sweden, in a new personal best of 51.56, while on Sunday night he won his second gold in the men’s 50 metres freestyle final in 20.82 seconds.
Today, he will hope to rediscover his golden touch when he competes in the men’s 50m freestyle against Croatian Alexei Puninski, New Zealand’s Cameron Simpson, Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen, Kai Quan Yeo of Singapore and Russian entrants Alexey Stepanov, Oleg Tikhobaev and Ivan Alexeev.
Following the conclusion of the two-day World Cup event in Moscow, Bovell is expected to compete in Berlin, Germany, on Saturday and Sunday followed by stops in Beijing, China, November 2-3; Tokyo, Japan, November 6-7 and the eighth and final stop, Singapore, November 10-11.