T&T’s George Bovell won his tenth medal of the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup, when he placed second in the 50 metres freestyle, at the SSE Schwimm-und Sprunghall, Berlin, Germany, yesterday.
The 29-year-old Bovell was hoping to repeat his gold medal success of Saturday, when he won the 100m individual medley. However, his 20.97 seconds, was not good enough to better Anthony Ervin of the USA, who won in 20.85 seconds. Australian Matthew Targett (21.12) took bronze.
Ervin also won the 100m freestyle the night before, and Bovell had warned off a fast time from the American. Bovell who has won six silver and four gold medals after five of the eight legs of competition, pushed his earnings to US$12,000, with three legs left.
In his post-swim tweet, Bovell praised Ervin for a great swim. “You can’t be underestimated. Rematch in Beijing! Get some rest big guy, let’s take it lower than .20.” Bovell was expected to travel to Oslo, Norway yesterday, to meet friends for some much needed rest and recovery, ahead of the next leg in Beijing, China, November 2-3.
Others in yesterday’s final were Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (21.55), New Zealand’s Cameron Simpson (21.79), Belgium duo Jasper Aerents (21.83) and Francois Heersbrandt (22.04) and Aussie, Kyle Richardson (22.07). In the morning session, Bovell, swimming from lane four in the fifth of sixth heats, was a third place finisher in 21.77 seconds behind Targett (21.63) and Liukkonen (21.71).
The top qualifier for the gold medal splash was Ervin who scorched the field in heat four in 21.50 seconds, ahead of fellow qualifiers, Aerents (21.92) and Richardson (22.09) while Heersbrandt won the sixth and final heat in 22.11 to secure the last spot available in the final.
On Saturday, Bovell, a four-time Olympian won his second 100m individual medley gold medal in five starts and fourth gold overall, when he touched the wall in 51.20 seconds. It was a new national record, bettering his 51.56, which he set in Sweden last weekend, when he captured the first of his two 100m IM gold medals.
The time was the fastest 100m Short Course time for the year, and second best ever in textile suit swimwear. It is only bettered by American Ryan Lochte. Bovell will enjoy an 11-day break before resuming the final three legs Beijing on November 2-3. The final legs will be staged in Tokyo, Japan (November 6-7) and Singapore (November 10-11).
At the end of the World Cup, the swimmer with the most ranking points will pocket a US$100,000 winners’ prize while second gets US$50,000 and third, US$30,000.
Performances so far
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (October 2-3) 100m IM—52.19 secs- silver; 50m freestyle—21.23 secs—silver
Doha, Qatar (October 6-7)
100m IM 51.87 (national record)—silver; 50m freestyle—21.06 (national record)—silver
Stockholm, Sweden (October 13-14); 100m IM—51.56 (national record)—gold; 50m freestyle—20.82 (national record—gold
Moscow, Russia (October 17-18)
100m IM—51.81—silver; 50m freestyle—20.90—gold
Berlin, Germany (October 20-21)
100m IM—51.20 (national record)—gold; 50m freestyle—20.97—silver