National Swimming coach Ben Smith commented of the performances of Lisa Blackburn, Roy-Allan Burch and Julian Fletcher at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, that www.islandstats.com covered each day the event was on.
Smith said, “Burch was in top form for his 50 Freestyle, he was in a strong heat but showed no mercy by winning convincingly. He seemed to rectify the slow start from London by getting off the blocks fast and not letting anyone catch him. He was seeded 6th in the A Final with a stacked field. He was able to beat team mate Cullen Jones in the morning and would be up against him again in the Finals. Also in the field will be George Bovell who was in the finals at last year’s worlds, Josh Sneider and the fastest swimmer in the US Nathan Adrian. The final looked to be exciting as Burch would be aiming to lower the 22.75 from the morning heats which was his second fastest time ever.”
“In the Final of the 50 Freestyle Burch was able to swim 22.76 which was 1 hundredth of a second slower than the morning and dropped him to 7th place. The start issues that he had in London seem to be rectified which is giving him good position against these top swimmers. The last 15 meters of the race will be his focus for his upcoming training so that he can finish faster,” continued Smith.
“Coming into this meet Blackburn and Fletcher had two different plans of preparation and expectations. Blackburn was rested and ready to hit the selection time at this meet. Her recent results in Florida and Columbus showed that her training was paying off and that she was ready for fast swimming. With the way she looked in the 200m Breaststroke we were hoping for it to translate into a great 100m Breaststroke. Fletcher on the other hand had finished his University season where his focus was on swimming fast in yards. He spent the last month working on his Long course swimming and decided not to rest or shave for this meet. The goal was to swim fast without the rest and shave and then drop his times at the Charlotte Ultra-swim in May,” continued Smith.
“Blackburn was up first in the morning heats where she built her lead from the first twelve and a half meters. She pulled away from the field soon after the turn and looked strong throughout the race. She finished in 1:12.10 which lowered her National Record and placed her 15th and in the B Final. This is by far the fastest she has been since returning home to Bermuda and was a good indication that she is on the right course.”
“Fletcher had a strong 100 Breaststroke where he swam a 1:04.8. This is his second fastest time ever but not the time he was looking for. It was however good enough to get him into the C Final and 23rd overall. Both of them are focused and ready to lower their times from the morning after correcting any mistakes that were picked up from the heats,” said Smith
“In the Finals of the Indy both Blackburn and Fletcher were a little slower than their morning swims. They were both disappointed not to improve but were already thinking of the work ahead for their preparation for the Charlotte Ultra Swim. Meanwhile in Spain at the Spanish Nationals Kiera Aitken had some good results but came up a little short from the qualifying time. Her 29.3 in the 50m Backstroke broke her own National record and grabbed her a Silver Medal. In the 100m she swam a 1:03 in the morning but was only able to hit. 1:04 in the Finals. We know she will regroup and then hit the time at an upcoming meet.”
Smith concluded, “In all it was a successful weekend for Bermuda Swimming and we will be looking for more great results with Carifta coming up this week for our age groupers and then Charlotte.”