Both Bahamian swimmers were in the pool yesterday as the swimming portion of the 3rd Youth Olympic Games continued at the Parque Polideportivo Roca in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Victoria Russell was up first, competing in the heats of the girls 50 meters (m) butterfly. Russell, 18, came into the event with a personal best mark of 27.92 seconds, but was only able to turn in a time of 28.40 seconds on Tuesday morning. She was fourth in her heat and finished 27th overall, failing to move on to the semifinals.
The other Bahamian swimmer on the team, Izaak Bastian, saw action in the heats of the boys 50m free, and also failed to move on. Bastian, 17, was eighth in his heat and finished 29th overall in 24.13 seconds.
On Sunday he competed in the 100m breast, and was eighth in his heat and 27th overall in a modest 1:05.21.
Bastian’s personal best times in those events are 23.25 and 1:02.91 respectively.
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games is not over for him as he will compete in the boys 200m breast today and the boys 50m breast on Thursday.
In the 200m breast, Bastian will be in lane one, heat three. His race will get underway at 10:33 a.m. local time, 9:33 a.m. in The Bahamas. On Thursday, he will swim out of lane two in heat four of the boys 50m breast. That race will take place at 11:22 a.m. local time, 10:22 a.m. in The Bahamas. Just the top 16 times in both races will advance to the semifinals.
The athletics portion of the games also get underway on Thursday. Shaun Miller Jr. will compete in the qualifying rounds of the boys high jump, Megan Moss will see action in the heats of the girls 400m, and Raymond Oriakhi will compete in the heats of the boys 400m.
Adrian Curry will compete in the boys 100m on Friday, and Matthew Thompson is set to see action in the heats of the boys 400m hurdles on Saturday.
It’s the end of the season for all of the Bahamian athletes, but hopes remain high as they compete among some of the best junior athletes in the world.
Bastian is a multiple medalist and record holder at the CARIFTA Swimming Championships, and a double medalist at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games. The Florida State University (FSU) freshman broke all of the breaststroke records in the 15-17 boys division at this year’s CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.
Rising star Russell swam a personal best time of 26.95 seconds in the 50m fly at the Bahamas Aquatics Federation’s (BAF) National Swimming Championships in June.
Moss, the lone female on the track team, is the reigning CARIFTA Champion and record-holder in the under-17 girls 400m. She broke the record in March in The Bahamas with a time of 53.19 seconds.
Oriakhi will be looking to complete his transformative year in the 400m. He won a silver medal in the under-17 boys division at the CARIFTA Championships when he circled the track in a personal best time of 47.75 seconds.
Miller has a personal best leap of 2.11m (6’ 11”) in the high jump. He recorded that mark at the 10th and final International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Under-18 Championships, in Nairobi, Kenya, last year, finishing fifth.
Miller won the high jump event at the Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations’ (BAAA) Youth and Junior National Championships in June, clearing 2.10m (6’ 10-1/2”).
Curry is one of the country’s top junior sprinters. He captured the silver medal at CARIFTA, running a blistering 10.43 seconds, a personal and season’s best time for him. He finished behind teammate Joel Johnson, who ran a personal best time of 10.31 seconds.
Thompson will be looking to continue lowering his time in the 400m hurdles. He ran a personal best time of 53.91 seconds at the BAAA Open National Championships in June.
There are two coaches, a chef de mission and a deputy chef de mission on the team. Sara Knowles (swimming) and Stephen Murray (track and field) are the two coaches. The team is led by Chef de Mission Clarence Rolle and he is being assisted by Oria Wood-Knowles.
The games continue today and will conclude on October 18.