Quartet already in Barcelona for swimming worlds
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jul 26, 2013
Olympic finalist Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace was the last of four Bahamian swimmers to arrive at the International Swimming Federation’s (FINA) World Aquatics Championships, currently underway in Barcelona, Spain.
Vanderpool-Wallace arrived in Barcelona yesterday, joining swimmers Vereance Burrows, Matthew Lowe and McKayla Lightbourn, and coach Shawn Neely. The 15th biennial championships, which started on July 12 and will conclude on August 4, also includes diving, high diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and open water swimming.
Vanderpool-Wallace will compete in the 50 and 100 meters (m) freestyle events. Her seed time in the 50m freestyle is the 11th fastest heading into competition. A time of 24.64 seconds was recorded at the London Olympic Games last year. A time is 24.05 seconds, turned in by Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, is the fastest listed time. In the 100m freestyle, Vanderpool-Wallace has a best of 53.73 seconds, which places her 11th overall. That time was also achieved at the 2012 London Olympics.
Lightbourn, a junior at Florida State University (FSU), will dive into the pool for the 100m backstroke and the 200m Individual Medley (IM) events. The two events for Burrows are the 50m freestyle and the 50m butterfly events. Lowe will compete in the 400m free and the 1,500m freestyle events.
“The team is adjusting well, everyone is in high spirits,” said Head Coach Neely. “Three swimmers came in on Tuesday, Vereance, Mathew and McKayla, so those three are getting over the time change and are on point with their race preparation training. Arianna will be the last to make the adjustment. We are hoping for best times from all the swimmers. If we can get into a couple of finals, that will be great, but I am looking for the swimmers to set new personal best times. This is the fastest meet in the world and over 100 countries are here.”
Up first for The Bahamas will be Burrows in the 50m fly on Sunday. Lowe and Lightbourn will also dive into the pool on Sunday, competing in the 400m freestyle and the 200 IM respectively. Vanderpool-Wallace will see competition on Thursday.
The medal count, so far, has China out front with 13 total medals - six gold, five silver and two bronze. Russia has five gold and two silver medals, bringing them to seven in total, and Germany and Brazil both have five medals each. They are followed by Greece and Tunisia with two each.