National records broken in Melbourne

The Nassau Guardian

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Simba FrenchSend an emailDecember 16, 2022 209 2 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Luke-Kennedy Thompson and Lamar Taylor.

Bahamian swimmers Lamar Taylor and Luke-Kennedy Thompson both broke national records at the 16th FINA (World Swimming Federation) Short Course (25m) World Championships that is currently being held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) in Melbourne, Australia.

Taylor broke the short course national record in the 50 meters (m) backstroke on Thursday, clocking 23.58 seconds which was also a personal best time for him. He was second in heat number three and 20th overall – four places from qualifying for the semifinals. The collegiate swimmer broke the Bahamian national record of 26.10 seconds that was set by Chris Vythoulkas in 2006.

“It feels amazing to break the national record,” Taylor said. “Coming into the race I wanted to have a high confidence level and have fun. That was the point for me coming to Australia – to have fun and try to drop times. I have been feeling good this entire season.”

Taylor said he was working on putting on weight in the offseason so he could be stronger with his strokes. He went into the race yesterday with an open mind and had a preview of it in the mixed 4x50m medley relay in which he clocked a split of 24.19 seconds.

“When I got out the blocks, I knew I could have swam faster than in the relay. I made sure I worked on my rotations and swam my own race to see how fast I could go,” Taylor said.

Swimming the fastest in the heats was Polish swimmer Kacper Stokowski with a time of 22.78 seconds.

The 19-year-old is confident heading into the 50m free today in which he will be featured in lane two in heat six.

“My goal is to make the semifinals. If that do not happen, I want to drop time. I feel that I have a good chance at doing something big in that race. I am looking to stay focused and have fun,” Taylor stated.

Thompson lowered Jeremy Knowles’ record of 3:57 in the 400m freestyle distance race when he clocked 3:56.22. He placed 28th overall in the heats and third overall in heat one.

“I was truly honored to have the opportunity to swim this race at this level. Going into the 400m free, I wanted to ultimately break the four-minute goal I set for myself. Knowing all the preparation that I’ve been putting in, this was a goal I knew I could accomplish. Being able to break the record set by the son of the coach who taught me how to swim is truly humbling to say the least,” Thompson said.

American Kieran Smith had the fastest time in the heats when he posted 3:36.91.

Thompson has one more individual race – the 200m free that is set for Sunday. He hopes to put up a personal best and represent The Bahamas to the best of his abilities.

Other than Taylor, Rhanishka Gibbs will be in the pool swimming in the women’s 50m free today. She will be swimming out of lane seven in heat four. She has an entry time of 26.68 seconds.

There is also the mixed 4x50m free relay that features Thompson, Gibbs, Taylor and Victoria Russell.

Also on the trip are Head Coach Travano McPhee, Team Manager Gena Culmer-Taylor and physiotherapist Cordero Bonamy.

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