Evans finishes 18th in 200m free

Bahamian swimmer comes up just short of first semifinals at the Olympics

TOKYO, Japan – Bahamian swimming sensation Joanna Evans had another tough swim at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday, coming up just short of her first semifinals appearance at the Olympics in swimming.

Evans touched the wall in seventh place in her heat of the women’s 200 meters (m) free and was 18th overall, in 1:58.40, just missing out on her national record time of 1:58.03, at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan.

Just like in the 400m free the day before, it was the second-fastest swim in an event ever for the Bahamian and it was a drastic improvement from her swim in that same event at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics five years ago.

Evans was 37th in that event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, finishing in 2:01.27, a national record at that time. This time around, she missed the semifinals by just two spots and seven one hundredths of a second. The final cutoff time for the semis was 1:58.33.

An emotional Evans didn’t have much to say afterward.

“You go out there and give what you can and sometimes you just don’t have it,” she said before heading off to the warm-down pool.

Evans, who just celebrated her 24th birthday on Sunday, was tied with the second-fastest reaction time in her 200m free heat and had balanced splits of 29.50, 30.61 and 30.49 seconds before coming home in a blazing 27.80 seconds. She now has three swims in her career under 1:59, and seven under two minutes. Swimming out of lane one, Evans was in seventh in her heat for much of the race yesterday.

Barbora Seemanova, of the Czech Republic, won Evans’ heat in 1:56.38 and American Katie Ledecky, who won the silver medal in the women’s 400m free in the morning session, was the fastest qualifier for the 200m free semis, swimming 1:55.28.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games experience is now over for Evans, but not before she turned in a couple of impressive swims, just missing out on new national records and advancing for second swims in each event.

The Bahamian swimming sensation ended her season as the 13th best swimmer in the world in the 400m free and the 18th best in the 200m free. In Rio de Janeiro, five years ago, she also swam in the 800m free, finishing 23rd overall, but decided to focus her attention on just the two shorter events this time around.

So, in Rio de Janeiro, Evans finished 13th in the 400m free, 37th in the 200m free and 23rd in the 800m free. This time around, her second Olympics, she was once again 13th in the 400m free and 18th in the 200m free.

The swimming portion of the games continues on Tuesday for The Bahamas with Izaak Bastian swimming in his second event – the men’s 200m breast. Bastian will swim out of lane five in heat one of the men’s 200m breast at 7:35 p.m. Tuesday, which is 6:35 a.m. Tuesday in The Bahamas. Bastian goes into that event with a national record seed time of 2:15.14, and will likely have to improve on that time by about four seconds to have a shot at the semis.

Bastian will be the final swimmer to experience action for The Bahamas at these Games of the 32nd Olympiad here in Tokyo, Japan.

The athletics portion of the Olympics gets underway on Friday morning, Thursday evening in The Bahamas.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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