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Bovell chases 50m backstroke, breaststroke gold
T&T Olympic and FINA World Long and Short Course Championships bronze medal swimmer George Bovell splashed off his 2014 campaign by reaching the 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke final at the end of the preliminary heats at the 51st Mel Zaljac Meet held at the University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre, University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on Thursday night. The 30-year-old Bovell III, who has enjoyed a relatively successful past two seasons was the sixth fastest qualifier in the 50m backstroke in 27.66 seconds ahead of tonight’s final after being seeded second with a time of 25.96 behind Russell Wood (25.69).
Wood lived up to his top seeding and was the fastest in the heats in 27 seconds, followed by Jeffrey Swanston (27.02), Geoff Cheah (27.13), Tim Zeng (27.48), Adam Best (27.55), Bovell, Sean Fletcher (27.75) and Makus Thormeyer (27.82). Tomorrow, Bovell will line up in the 50m breaststroke gold medal swim after he qualified as the fifth fastest from the heats with a time of 29.53 seconds well adrift of the third seeded time of 28.22. The qualifiers to finish ahead of Bovell were his Club Wolverine teammate Richard Funk (28.48), Zach Hayden (29.08), Rafa Van Leeuwaarde (29.25) and Andrew Poznikoff (29.52) while Nick Kostick (29.61), Sergey Holson (29.62) and Antoine Bujold (30.20) were sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Bovell also line up in the 50m butterfly heats of the four-day meet sanctioned by Swimming Canada Federation and jointly hosted by the UBC Thunderbirds/UBC Dolphins Swim Club and Swimming Canada at the UBC Aquatic Centre until tomorrow.
However, despite his fourth seeding of 24.50 he only managed a time of 25.82 for 12th spot overall and a place in the B-final which was contested last night alongside Gamal Assaad (25.76), Alex Page (25.79), Rohan Jacobs (25.79), Thormeyer (25.87), Stephen Calkins (25.97) and Maxime Potvin (26.14) while Adrian Vander Helm and Stefan Milosevic will swim a playoff for the other spot in the final after both clocked 26.24 for 16th. Today, Bovell will also line up in the heats of his pet event, the men’s 50m freestyle as the top seed with a time of 21.51 ahead of Yuri Kisil (22.53), Luke Peddie (22.72) and Cheah (22.76).