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Bovell doubles up in 100m IM
T&T swimmer George Bovell III ended his gold medal drought in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when he won the 100 metres individual medley on the opening night of the second-leg of the 2014 FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex, yesterday.
The 31-year-old Bovell, who recently signed on as an Oasis Water brand ambassador, had previously picked up four medals competing in Dubia, over the last two years. This comprised three silver and a bronze.
However, yesterday he finally got gold, swimming from lane four when he touched the wall in 51.79 seconds well ahead of American duo, Thomas Shields (52.14) and Cody Miller (52.46).
The other finishers in the final were Italian Fabio Scozzoli (53.26), South African Leith Shankland (53.44), Serbian Boris Stojanovic (53.86), Tunisia’s Taki Mrabet (54.42) and South African Giulio Zorzi (55.71).
In the morning heats, Bovell was also the fastest qualifier in 53.36 in the fourth and final heat, ahead of Stojanovic (54.09) and Germany’s Marco Koch (54.18), who opted out of the final.
Australian Lennard Bremer (59.12), home town swimmer Mohammed Almheiri (1:02.07), Zeyad Dessouky (1:06.00) and Bahrain’s Khaled Ismaeel (1:00.06) were fourth, fifth and sixth respectively while the trio of Ayman Klzie (Syria), and UAE duo, Mubarak Al Besher and Omar Alhammadi failed to take the starter.
Miller qualified for the final as the top swimmer in heat two in 53.54 ahead of Shankland (54.50) while the trio Shields (54.25), Scozzoli (54.86) and Mrabet (55.19) were the qualifiers from heat three.
On Wednesday last, he swam to a gold medal in the men’s 100m IM in 52.80 seconds followed by Shankland (53.77) and Austrian Martin Spitzer (54.77) after he also topped the heats in 54.81 in Doha, Qatar in the first-leg.
In 2012, he was second in the men’s 100m individual medley in 52.19 seconds to trail Australian Kenneth To (51.43) and he also sliver in the 50m freestyle in 21.23 behind USA’s Anthony Ervin (21.18) while he was 17th in the 50m breaststroke in 29.87.
And last year he again got silver in the 50m freestyle in 21.32 well adrift of Russian Vladimir Morozov, and bronze in the 100m IM in 53.38 behind To (51.46) and Morozov (51.76).
Earlier yesterday, Bovell also contested the 50m breaststroke but ended in fifth spot in 27.16 for tenth spot overall from lane two in heat four of five.
The quartet of Scozzoli (26.57), Miller (27.16), Slovakian Marek Botik (27.28) and Colombian Jorge Murillo (27.34) finished ahead of Bovell and qualified for the final while UAE’s Mubarak Al Besher (29.41), Singapore’s Brilliant Chu (30.16), Bahrain’s Sufyan Al Malki (30.62), and home-town competitors, Majid Alhammadi (32.74) and Mohammed Alkatheeri (37.79) were the others in the heat.
Russian Andrei Nikolaev (26.97) and Zorzi (27.12) were the top two qualifiers from heat three while South African Roland Schoeman (27.11) and Finland’s Eetu Karvonen (27.42) advanced from heat five.
An Olympic 200m IM and 100m IM World Short Course Championship bronze medallist, Bovell also missed out on a spot in the men’s 50m breaststroke final in Qatar after he ended third in heat two of three and, in 27.51 seconds, behind Zorzi (27.20) and Nikolaev (27.21), with the tenth fastest time overall.
Schoeman won his second straight 50m breaststroke in 26.16 ahead of Scozzoli (26.37) and Miller (26.38).
Today, Bovell a four-time Olympian and five-time NCAA champion, who has 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 will line up in his pet event, the 50m freestyle.
He will swim in lane four of heat eight against UAE’s Ahmed Alhosani, Seifeldin Kotb, Erik Regini, Poland’s Konrad Czerniak, Finland’s Ari-Pekka Liukkonen, Kuwait’s Mohammed Madouh, Colombian Julio Galofre, Japan’s Ko Fukaya and Serbian Aaron Sinkovic.
The quintet of USA’s Josh Schneider, Schoeman, Stojanovic, Shankland and Sascha Subarsky are in heat seven while Germany’s Steffen Deibler and Japan’s Kenta Ito are in the sixth heat.
On Thursday, the Olympic and two-time World Championship bronze medallist, was a joint silver medallist with Poland’s Konrad Czerniak in 21.43, and behind USA’s Josh Schneider who took gold in 21.07.
Following the end of the second-leg of the World Cup today he will have a break of a close to a month before resuming with the third stop in Hong Kong (September 29-30) followed by Moscow, Russia (October 4-5); Tokyo, Japan (October 28-29) and Singapore (November 1-2).
He will then close off the season with the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), in Doha from December 3—7, 2014.