T&T’s George Bovell made it two gold medals on the trot when he outswam his rivals to win the men’s 100 metres individual medley on the opening night of the two-day penultimate leg of the eight-stop FINA/Arena Swimming Short Course World Cup at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre in Japan, yesterday.
Swimming out of a difficult lane seven in the eight-man final, the 29-year-old touched the wall in 51.80 seconds, to claim his third gold medal in seven starts in the event while main rival Australian Kenneth To was a close second in 51.83 and his countryman, Kyle Richardson, a distant third in 53.13.
The other finishers in the final were the Japanese quintet of Takurou Fujii (53.24), Hiromasa Fujimori (53.67), Kazuki Nagura (54.74), Tatsuya Itou (54.88) and Takashi Iyobe (54.91). Overall, Bovell III has now won 13 medals (six gold and seven silver) while he entered the meet with 112 points, 23 behind To in the race for the overall top spot which will be determined at the end of the Singapore meet on the weekend at the end of which the top swimmer will collect US$100,000.
In the morning heats, Bovell was only the sixth fastest qualifier for the final after he clocked 54.45 for third in the fourth and final heat, behind joint winners, Richardson (54.17) and Fujimori (54.17) while Itou (54.66) and Iyobe (54.83) were fourth and fifth to be the other qualifier from the heat for the gold medal swim.
With regards to his swim Bovell said, “This morning in the heats I was playing dead to ketch corbeau alive as I mentioned on twitter and it seems to have worked. I remember my race in Beijing when I closely lost to To, but swam right next to him. “Today (yesterday), I cruised the heats as much as would still allow me to qualify after six competitions. I have developed an accurate feel for pacing. The plan was to feign tiredness, and then spring a big surprise from one of the outside lanes. I can't say for sure but it may have contributed to my victory tonight.”
Last night, Bovell III was back in action when he competed in the sixth and final men’s 50m freestyle heat from lane four alongside Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen, Russian Viacheslav Prudnikov, South Africa’s Gerhard Zanberg, and the Japanese quartet of Syunya Satou, Shinri Shioura, Yuuta Kawaguchi and Tooru Maruyama.