Trinidad & Tobago
Gold medallist at the inaugural 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics, Christian Homer, has set his sights on representing T&T at the London Olympics, next year. Homer, who is training with Bolles Sharks in USA, competed in the AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta on Saturday, and achieved a personal best time of 56.86 seconds in his fifth place finish in the C Final of the 100m backstroke. In the preliminaries, Homer clocked 56.97.
The multiple regional gold medallist and national record holder was pleased with his performance, especially since it was 0.56 seconds off the Olympic invitation time. “I feel as if I am one step closer to the Olympics,” Homer said. “I was elated to see the time I registered.” Homer identified some errors in his race in both the preliminary round and the final which may have jeopardised him even getting a faster time.
“I went out a bit too fast in the first 50 in the prelims in 26.6 and in the final, my first 50m was a bit too slow in 27.7. I was aiming for the invitation time but I’m still pleased to cut a half of a second off my personal best.” Homer will start University of Florida (UF) in January and will pursue studies in Aerospace Engineering. He eagerly anticipates starting UF, to engage in top class training with some of the USA’s fastest athletes in his age-group.
National record holder Caryle Blondell also participated at this meet. Blondell, a freshman at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, achieved a personal best 57.82 seconds in the 100m backstroke to place 36th in the 82-man field. Blondell, who is pursuing a degree in Sociology, was 48th out of 112 athletes in the 50m freestyle (23.59), and 71st in the 100m freestyle, in 52.12 seconds.
Commenting on the performances, 2004 Olympic bronze medallist George Bovell III was pleased to see solid performances from the T&T duo. “It is great that fellow Trinis competing in big meets and doing us proud and improving their times. Good to see Homer close to the invitation time for Olympics but this time is never a sure thing as only ‘A’ times can guarantee Olympic selection.”
Bovell III is currently competing in the Dutch Open where he put a stellar 22.24 second silver medal swim in the 50m freestyle. He is eager to equal or better this time in the Italian Open in under two weeks. The 2011 AT&T Winter National Championships features many of the swim stars of the USA and across the world including Adrian Nathan, Brendan Hansen, Dara Torres and Roland Schoeman.