Dols sets new national record in individual medley

Monday, July 23, 2018

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BARRANQUILLA, Colombia — National swimmer Keanan Dols set a new national record in the 'A' final of the men's 200 metres individual medley (IM) at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games on Saturday night at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatic Complex.

Dols, swimming out of lane three, clocked 2:03.66 minutes in the final to break the long-standing National Record that was established by Andrew Phillipps at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old Dols actually broke the record twice on the day, having swam 2:04.00 minutes in Saturday morning's qualifying.

However, the Jamaican barely missed out on earning a medal in the final, as he placed fourth. Still, he was a happy man.

“This morning it was 2:04.00, which was a best time for me. It got me the National Record as well as the World's 'B' time next summer, which qualified me for Korea next summer — which was my goal coming into this meet,” beamed the lanky teen.

“And from that point I had accomplished my goal for that event for this meet and then going into finals tonight it was just like, 'I'm gonna go out, go have fun, race hard and see what I have left in me'.”

Dols continued: “I ended up going another best time by three-tenths of a second and I'm really happy with the result. Despite just missing out on a medal it was still a great time for me and a good experience.

“I didn't think that I'd be in medal contention in that race, especially because there's a lot of guys from other countries who are really good swimmers. It was a just a lot of fun racing among a bunch of my friends. It was just a little bit heartbreaking to get out-touched by two-tenths. I wish I had been a little bit faster, but I can't ask for more than I got there — new best time and new National Record of Andrew Phillips from the mid-1980s.”

Puerto Rico's Jarod Arroya won in 2:02.37 minutes, while Venezuela's Carlos Claverie (2:03.06) took silver ahead of Cuba's Cruz Ruvulcaba (2:03.48).

Dols got commendations from joint national female and swim team captain Alia Atkinson — who had earlier won the 50m butterfly gold on Saturday — and national coach Gillian Millwood.

“It was pretty good,” Atkinson noted, “because Keanan also was getting on that third place as well. He got touched out at the end.”

Millwood said: “With this 200m IM swim Keanan has been on fire so far, and this is only day two. He participated last night (Friday), he had a swim in the 200m fly, [and was] anticipated to be stronger; but he was really, really surprised with both his swims today (Saturday) and we're all proud of him.”

She added: “It's really not easy to do repeats for a morning swim to afternoon swims but he's proven that it's possible to do it. Focus on hydration, nice clean eating, real focus and deliberate in his warm-ups and cool down, and then how he strategises. He gets to practice and beat persons that he never thought he would last year or the year before.”

Jamaicans competed in two other finals Saturday night. Michael Gunning placed fourth in the men's 200 IM 'B' final in 2:10.60 minutes. Barbados' Luis Weekes won in 2:08.55.

Yona Knight-Wisdom qualified for the 3m diving finals in eight place, then ended up finishing sixth.

“There were some really positive things, but some things he'll need to work on for next season,” said his coach Rebecca Gallantree, on the 24-year-old's performance.

“His confidence on a couple of the bigger dives, in terms of going out there and doing them in an uncomfortable situation where it's an outdoor pool that he's not used to. It's been very hot and humid and windy, and he's starting to feel much more comfortable on those big dives,” she analysed.

“Probably a little bit of technique work on the bigger dives between the inwards and reverse 3 1'2s. He was a little slow on those so he'll need to work on his technique at home to get them moving faster more consistently,” Gallantree added of Knight-Wisdom's execution.

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