Four-time Olympian, T&T’s George Bovell III, will have his eyes set on avenging Wednesday’s second place finish in the men’s 100m individual medley to Australian Kenneth To, when he competes in today’s first day of the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup fifth leg at the SSE Schwimm-und Sprunghall, Europapark, Berlin, Germany.
In four finals in the event to date Bovell has had to settle for silver on three occasions, with his lone gold coming last week in Stockholm, Sweden, and his last silver on Wednesday in Moscow, Russia. The T&T swimmer arrived in Berlin early yesterday and had a light session to loosen his muscles ahead of today’s opening day when he will line up in lane four of heat four of five against Brazilian Henriques Rodrigues, Japan’s Yuki Shirai, Hungary’s Laslo Csech, Croatian Marco Di Carli, Singapore’s Jeremy Mathews and home-town swimmer Maik Michalski.
Wednesday, Bovell’s run of two straight gold medals was ended when he got a fifth silver in four meets in the men’s 100m individual medley in 51.81 seconds to trail Australian Kenneth To (51.66) while South Africa’s Darian Townsend took bronze in 53.19.
Today, he will go after a third gold in the men’s 50m freestyle having won the last two events in Sweden on Sunday and Moscow on Thursday night. A seventh-placed finisher in the men’s 50m freestyle final at the London Games Olympics in August, Bovell’s impressive performances over the first four legs of the eight-meet World Cup has seen him move up to second in the overall men’s points standings with 67 after he picked up 16 points in Moscow for his gold and silver medal swims.
At the top of the standings in the hunt for the US$100,000 winners’ prize at the end of the eight World Cup stops is To with 90 points after he picked up 20 in Russia, while Japan’s Daiya Seto is third with 65, some 25 ahead of Russian Stanislav Donets (40).
Meanwhile, Bovell’s performances have not gone unnoticed by the Amateur Swimming Association of T&T (ASATT) which in a media release yesterday said: “George Bovell III’s latest feat, capturing gold in a brilliant swim at the FINA/Arena
Swimming World Cup in Moscow, Russia, brings the swimming fraternity tremendous joy and inspiration.
“Bovell twice erased the national open record which he set at the Tenth FINA World Swimming Championship in Dubai 2010 (21.23) by a margin of thirty-three hundredths of a second. “The new benchmark and his personal best of 20.90, is made all the more important as it was his second time clocking sub-21 seconds. He convincingly walloped American Anthony Ervin (21.11) and Russian Evgeny Lagunov (21.80) into second and third places respectively.
“This gruelling schedule represents the high demands from the sport of swimming and the rewards Bovell is now reaping is wholly deserving and speaks to his discipline, dedication and love for competition. “We have no doubt that he can maintain his form and continue inspiring young athletes in all spheres of sport in this country.”
The Swimming World Cup is a precursor to the stellar short course event held every two years—the FINA World Swimming Championships—where swimming stars from all continents gather. The 11th installment of this competition will be hosted in Istanbul, Turkey and the five-day competition will run from December 12-16, 2012.