T&T’s George Bovell has trimmed Austrailian Kenneth To’s overall lead in the men’s ranking to 18 points following his gold and silver medal performances at the fifth-leg of the FINA/Arena Swimming Short Course World Cup (25m pool) at the SSE Schwimm-und Sprunghall, Berlin, Germany, on the weekend.
Going into the meet, To led the ranking after four legs with 90 points, followed by Bovell (67), Japan’s Daiya Seto (65) and Russian Stanislav Donets (40) in the race for the US$100,000 winners cheque which goes to the top swimmer at the end of the eight-legs. Second gets US$50,000 and third, US$30,000
However, Bovell won gold in the 100m individual medley on Saturday, followed by silver in the men’s 50 freestyle on Sunday, to be the biggest points earner with 25 points to improve to 92, while To got 20 points to improve to 110.
Seto, who broke the world 400m IM record on Saturday secured 16 points to remain third with 81 while Donets is next with 53.
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.
It was also 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. A day later, Bovell won his tenth medal of the World Cup in the 50m freestyle, when he placed second in 20.97 seconds behind Anthony Ervin of the USA, who won in 20.85 seconds, a new personal best and USA record.
Commenting on his silver swim yesterday, Bovell said he finished a bit drained: “It showed when my first 25 was not as fresh. I found myself behind at the half way point, and really turned it on coming home. It was still a great swim below 21. But not good enough to beat Ervin’s great swim of 20.85. This rivalry is intense, but I still have the number one time in the world from Stockholm.”
Bovell, seventh in the 50m freestyle Long Course final at the London Olympics in August, noted that prior to Sunday’s final, he felt a bit stressed out. “I checked out of my hotel before the finals, then flew to Oslo after competing where I am staying and training with Norweigan Olympic swimmers, Gard Kvale and Alex Hetland.”
Reflecting on the tour so far, Bovell said: “The tour has been strenuous, especially doing it all alone. I think I have lost some weight and need to rest, eat well, do some basic maintenance work so that I can complete the Asian legs.” Bovell has an 11-day break before resuming the final three legs in Beijing, followed by Tokyo, Japan (November 6-7) and Singapore (November 10-11).
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)
Berlin, Germany (October 20-21)
100m IM—51.20 (national record)—gold