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Arianna fails to make 50m free final; Lowe sets new national record

  • Bahamian swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace failed to make the final of the women’s 50m free at the 15th FINA World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain as she finished eighth in her semi-final heat and 15th overall, in 25.24 seconds. Bahamian Matthew Lowe set a new national record of 16:07.53 in the men’s 1,500m free, but was 35th overall. FILE

Guardian Sports Editor

Published: Aug 06, 2013

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A finals appearance for a fourth straight year at a major global meet, was not to be for Bahamian swimming sensation Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, as she bowed out of her second semi-final of the 15th FINA World Aquatics Championships on Saturday.

The Bahamian multi-national record holder finished eighth in her semi-final heat of the women’s 50 meters (m) freestyle, and was 15th overall, in 25.24 seconds. She swam a time of 25.15 seconds in the morning heats to qualify 13th overall, for the semis, but just didn’t have it in the semis to make it to another final like she did at the London Olympics last year, the Shanghai World Championships in 2011 and the Dubai Short Course Worlds in 2010 when she became the first Bahamian swimmer, male or female, to win a medal at a major global meet.

In the 100m free on Thursday, Vanderpool-Wallace was 10th overall, in 54.44 seconds, slightly off the 54.42 seconds she swam in the morning heats. Her national record times in the 50 and 100m free are 24.64 seconds and 53.73 seconds, both done at the London Olympics last year. With her Auburn days now behind her, it is unknown at this particular time if Vanderpool-Wallace will contest the International Swimming Federation’s (FINA) World Cup Series in Europe for the remainder of the summer. She spent the past year training under the watchful eyes of former Auburn Assistant Swimming Coach, and current University of Miami Associate Head Coach, Aaron Ciarla.

Vanderpool-Wallace graduated from Auburn University just prior to the London Olympic Games, leaving the school as an 18-time All American, a 10-time Southeastern Conference (SEC) Champion, a three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Champion, and the US Open record holder in the 100 yard free. Also, she was named the 2011 SEC Women’s Swimmer of the Year and the 2011 SEC Commissioner’s Cup Winner, awarded to the league’s top individual point scorer at the annual championships.

Internationally, two-time Olympian Vanderpool-Wallace won a bronze medal at the 2010 World Short Course Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was a finalist at both the 2011 Shanghai Worlds and the 2012 London Olympics, won a 4x100m medley relay bronze at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and won two gold, two silver and two bronze at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

Vanderpool-Wallace wasn’t the only Bahamian swimmer who wrapped up competition at the St. George’s Palace indoor sporting arena in Barcelona, Spain this past weekend.

Vereance Burrows finished sixth in his heat and was 38th overall, in the men’s 50m free, in 22.98 seconds. His national record in the event is 22.39 seconds.

Also, Matthew Lowe lowered his national record in the men’s 1,500m free. Lowe was fifth in his heat and finished 35th overall, in a new national record time of 16:07.53. He broke his own national record of 16:08.19 which he set at the RBC Swimming Nationals earlier this summer.

The United States of America (USA) won the global meet with 33 total medals - 15 gold, nine silver and nine bronze. China was second with 26 total medals - 14 gold, eight silver and four bronze, and Russia finished third with 19 total medals - nine gold, six silver and four bronze.

Trinidad & Tobago was the only Caribbean country to win a medal - a bronze by George Bovell in the men’s 50m free. Bovell also won a bronze medal in the 200m Individual Medley (IM) at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and a bronze in the 100m IM at the 2012 World Short Course Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. He is a former world record holder, and easily the Caribbean region’s most successful swimmer.

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