Last Sunday marked the close of the very exciting 15th FINA World Swimming Championships at the Palau Sant Jordi complex in Barcelona.
While not expected to make the top 16 semi-finalists Barbadian swimmers Lani Cabrera and Alexis Clarke performed creditably for the first time on the world championships stage. Cabrera’s coach Neal Studd of Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Meyer, Florida, attended the meet with Cabrera and Clarke. Studd was very impressed with Cabrera and Clarke.
“Their professionalism while representing their country was outstanding. I believe the experience of the worlds’ highest stage will empower them to future successes,” he said.
Cabrera dropped 12 seconds off her 2013 CCCAN silver medal performance in the 800 metros freestyle while Clarke posted a personal best time in the 200m freestyle.
Cabrera returns to Florida Gulf Coast University later this month while Clarke heads to Dubai for the 4th Junior World Swimming Championships. Trinidadian George Bovell III was the top Caribbean finisher at the championships with a bronze medal finish in the men’s 50m freestyle. He posted a time of 22.51 which was just 0.19 seconds off the gold place finish by Cielo Cezar of Brazil (21.32). Alia Atkinson of Jamaica was 9th in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:07.63 and 12th in the 50m breaststroke with 31.27.
Another Caribbean semifinalist was Bahamian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace. She placed 15th in the 50m freestyle (25.24). The US placed first in the medal count with 33 medals. China were second with 26 medals and Russia third with 19 medals.
Four world records were broken at the championships. Katie Ledecky of the USA was awarded as the best female swimmer of the championships, Yang Sun of China was the best male swimmer and the USA were the best team of the championships. The next FINA World Championships are set for Kazan, Russia in 2015.