George Bovell III’s timing was impeccable in Dubai yesterday. Trinidad and Tobago’s most decorated swimmer, competing on the 52nd anniversary of the country’s independence at the second leg of the FIN/Mastbank World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, grabbed gold again in the 100 metres individual medley (IM).
The win was Bovell’s second of the 2014 World Cup series, following his victory last Wednesday in the same event at the first leg in Doha, Qatar. Yesterday’s triumph, however, was of a shade higher quality.
Swimming out of lane four, Bovell touched the wall in 51.79 seconds, which was enough to push American Thomas Shields (52.14) into second and another American, Cody Miller (52.46) into third. Again as last week in Doha, Bovell owed his win to a strong finish, the T&T swimmer making up ground on Shields, the half-way leader, to grab the gold in a time that was just over a second faster than his winning 52.80 last week.
Earlier, Bovell had underlined his credentials by being the fastest qualifier out of the heats. He won heat four in 53.36 to beat Serbia’s Boris Stojanovic (54.09) and German Marco Koch (54.18). In the final Stojanovic was sixth in 53.86, while Koch did not compete.
And to complete what was a virtual repeat of his efforts in these events in Doha last week, Bovell once more failed to get into the final of the 50m breaststroke yesterday.
Swimming in heat four, he was fifth in 27.61 behind Italian Fabio Scozzoli (26.57), American Miller (27.16), Marek Botik of Slovakia (27.28) and Jorge Valdez Murillo of Colombia (27.34). However, while it was a slower swim for Bovell than last week’s effort of 27.51, it still placed him tenth overall, just as he had been in Doha.
This morning, Bovell will attempt to at least match last week’s effort in the 50m freestyle. He got joint silver in Doha with Poland’s Konrad Czerniak in 21.43 as they both finished behind the USA’s Josh Schneider (21.07).
Today Bovell will begin his quest for a fourth medal in the series competing in heat eight, which will also include Czerniak. Schneider swims in heat seven. The World Cup series will be on a break after today until the third leg in Hong Kong from September 29-30.