Izaak Bastian continues to get faster and faster while DaVante Carey was just off his personal best time as the 7th FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Junior Swimming Championships got underway at the Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on Tuesday.
The other swimmer of the three-member team, Lamar Taylor, was also in action, but was disqualified in his heat of the junior men’s 100 meters (m) backstroke. The other Bahamian in that event, Carey, was in top form, swimming close to his personal best time.
Swimming in heat five, Carey touched the wall in 59.03 seconds, about two tenths of a second off his personal best time. He was eighth in his heat and finished 51st placement. Carey went out in 28.19 seconds and came home in 30.84. His personal best time in that event is 58.81 seconds, done at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Swimming Championships in June of this year.
“It was a good race for me. I went out on my target time that I wanted to go out in,” he said afterwards. “I felt that I could have come back a bit faster but there is always things that I could work on for next time. Overall, I think it was a good race for me,” he added.
Former Sea Bees Swim Club member Christopher Vythoulkas holds the national record of 58.31 seconds, done at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.
Taylor swam in heat four and was disqualified.
Just the top 16 times advanced to last night’s semifinals, and the final is set for tonight.
Bastian saw action in the junior men’s 100m breaststroke, and was faster than he has ever been.
Swimming in the fastest heat in the morning session, Bastian touched the wall in 1:02.55, good enough for fifth in his heat and 14th overall heading into the semis. He came back in the semis Tuesday evening and went even faster. Bastian just missed out on the final, swimming a lifetime best of 1:01.99. His previous personal best in that event was 1:02.41, done at the REV Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) National Swimming Championships this year.
Bastian was sixth in his semifinal heat and finished 11th overall, missing the final by about eight tenths of a second.
“It was pretty good for me. I was close to my best time in the heats which was pretty good for me for a morning swim. Tonight (last night), I was about half of a second over my best time, so I was pleased with that. That was a lot of fun,” said Bastian. “That was my first time going under 1:02, so hopefully I could stay there now.”
In the semis, Bastian went out in 28.96 seconds and came home in 33.03. He said he switched up his race strategy a bit, which paid dividends.
“I just wanted to take it out fast and see what could happen. That’s what I did, and I was able to swim a best time,” he said. “Hopefully, I [can] keep going with that and just work on the back end speed a bit more. I would like to be a [little] faster coming home, but everything comes in time. I just have to go and get ready for the other swims now.”
Grand Bahamian Dustin Tynes holds the national record in that event – a time of 1:01.56 that was done three years ago.
Bastian still has the 50 and 200m breaststroke events and the 50m free. He will be off today and will jump back in the pool tomorrow, competing in the junior men’s 50m free. He will swim in the heats of the 200m breast on Friday and the heats of the 50m breast on Saturday. Carey will compete in the heats of the junior men’s 100m fly today, the heats of the 50m back tomorrow, and the heats of the 50m fly on Friday. Taylor still has four events to go. He is scheduled to swim in the heats of the junior men’s 50m free and 50m back on Thursday, the heats of the 50m fly on Friday, and the heats of the 100m free on Saturday.
At 16, Taylor is the youngest member of the team. Bastian is in his last year as a junior at 18, and Carey is 17.
The six-day competition wraps up on Sunday at the Duna Arena in Budapest.
The championships began in 2006 and is held biennially for junior male and female swimmers. The three-member Bahamian team is up against some of the best junior swimmers in the world.