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Bovell grabs silver in freestyle

Published: 
Friday, August 29, 2014
George Bovell

George Bovell had to settle for a share of the silver medal in the men’s 50m freestyle when the curtain came down on the opening leg of the 2014 FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup at the Hamad Aquatic Centre, Al Aziziyah, Doha, Qatar, yesterday. 

After entering the final with the eighth fastest time, Bovell improved his speed considerably to touch the wall in 21.43 seconds from lane eight, the same as Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (21.43), and behind USA’s Josh Schneider who took gold in 21.07.

The silver in the 50m freestyle was his second in Doha after he also got silver in 2012 behind USA’s Anthony Ervin while he was fourth last year. 

The others in the eight-man field yesterday were Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (21.44), Schoeman (21.56), Germany’s Steffen Deibler (21.67), Japan’s Kenta Ito (21.78) and Spain’s Miguel Ortiz-Canavate Ozeki, Bovell’s training partner, who ended in 21.83.

In the morning session, Bovell, who a day earlier sped to gold in the 100m individual medley, was third in the fourth and final heat from lane five in 21.81 to trail Schneider (21.23) and Czerniak (21.66) to the wall.

The remaining six swimmers Austrian Martin Spitzer (22.51), China’s Tengfei Shi (22.51), South African Leith Shankland (22.53), Austrian Sascha Subarsky (23.40), Colombian Jorge Murillo (23.75), South Africa’s Reynier Pretorius (24.16) and Lebanon’s Charlie Salameh (24.65) all failed to advance to the gold medal splash.

Liukkonen (21.47) topped heat two ahead of Ito (21.79) while Deibler (21.69), Schoeman (21.79) and Ortiz-Canavate Ozeki, (21.79) were the qualifiers from heat three. 

On Wednesday, Bovell competing from lane four swam to a gold medal in the men’s 100 metres individual medley followed by Shankland and Spitzer.

It was his first gold in the 100m IM in Doha after he won bronze last year and silver in 2012.

A four-time Olympian and five-time NCAA champion, Bovell has now won 31 medals at the World Cup; 13 medals (one gold, five silver, seven bronze) last year; 16 medals (nine gold and seven silver) in 2012 and a gold, and silver so far this campaign. 

Today, Bovell a 25-time All-American honour roll student, the most in Auburn University history, will journey to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the second-leg of the World Cup which comes off on Sunday and Monday.

This will be followed by stops in Hong Kong (September 29-30); Moscow, Russia (October 4-5); Tokyo, Japan (October 28-29) and Singapore (November 1-2) before he turns his attention to the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), in Doha from December 3-7.