Five national short course records set
Team Bahamas wrapped up competition at the 16th FINA (World Swimming Federation) Short Course (25m) World Championships, held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) in Melbourne, Australia.
Representing The Bahamas at the meet were Rhanishka Gibbs, Victoria Russell, Luke-Kennedy Thompson and Lamar Taylor. Taylor set three national
records and Thompson set two in the distance races.
Head coach Travano McPhee was proud of the quartet and mentioned how dedicated they are to the sport.
“The team performance was outstanding with multiple national records being broken by Taylor and Thompson. It says that Bahamian swimming continues to excel or improve on the international level and is moving in the right direction. The athletes are putting in extreme amounts of time in and out of the water to ensure that swimming reaches high levels and continues to grow and improve,” McPhee said.
Thompson, who already set a national record in the 400m free earlier in the meet, was the lone swimmer in the water yesterday for The Bahamas when he was in action in the men’s 200m freestyle. He was able to place 40th overall after swimming in a new national record time of 1:51.31 out of lane five, heat one. It was better than his entry time of 1:55.44. Holding the national record before was Jeremy Knowles, who did it in 1998 with a time of 1:53.34.
Clocking the fastest time in that race on Sunday was Great Britain’s Tom Dean, who swam 1:40.98.
McPhee is hoping to see the team get bigger, so it can enter full men’s and women’s relay teams.
Saturday saw Russell in action out of lane three in the third heat in the 50m breast. Russell was able to better her entry time of 33.68 seconds when she touched the wall in 32.54 seconds. That time placed her 39th overall, as Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte swam the fastest time in the heats in a time of 29.10 seconds.
Friday was a busy day for The Bahamas as it was featured in three races – one relay and two individual races.
After placing 41st overall at last year’s edition, Taylor came back stronger and set the national record in the men’s 50m free. He was able to finish 28th overall with a national record time of 21.45 seconds. It was his third national record set at this year’s championships. He lowered Allan Murray’s 26-year-old record of 21.97 seconds.
Gibbs was in the women’s 50m free race which saw her placing 35th overall after clocking 26.16 seconds out of lane seven heat four. She lowered her entry time of 26.68 seconds. Polish swimmer Katarzyna Wasick swam 23.74 seconds to come away with the fastest time in the heats.
The quartet placed 16th overall in the mixed 4x50m free relay. They clocked 1:36.95. Taylor swam the first leg with a split of 21.65 seconds. Thompson and Gibbs swam their legs with a time of 23.30 seconds and 25.79 seconds, respectively. Russell anchored the team with a time of 26.30 seconds.
France clocked 1:29.69 to finish with the fastest time in the heats.