LIMA, Peru — She was a satisfied swimmer!
Breaststroke specialist Laura Morley gave The Bahamas a good start in the swimming segment of the 18th Pan American Games, swimming out of lane six in the women’s 100 meters (m) breaststroke at the VIDENA Aquatics Centre in Lima, Peru, on Tuesday morning.
Morley started with a purpose and maintained a third position behind American Anne Lazor and Ailen Ceballos of Brazil in the second heat of the event. She qualified for the “B” final, becoming The Bahamas’ first finalist of the games.
Morley clocked 1:11.28, better than her 1:11.79 Pan Am qualifying time. Lazor won the heat in 1:06.79 and Ceballos finished in 1:10.27.
In the interview zone shortly after her heat, Morley, with a smile, admitted being a bit nervous at the start but said she has more left in the tank for the “B” final, which was slated for Tuesday evening. The result was unavailable up to press time.
“My mechanics were not as I would have liked but I concentrated and swam through. I can make it up in my next race. I am enjoying this. I just love representing my country,” said Morley.
She entered the games as the country’s 200m breaststroke national record holder (2:30.29) and a former CARIFTA standout. The 2018-2019 Indiana University senior has also crafted a creditable National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) career.
Another Bahamian swimmer was not as fortunate. Tyler Russell acknowledged a “not too good” 100m breaststroke race on Tuesday morning. He finished eighth in the field in 1:07.67, far off his 1:05.86 qualifying time. He failed to make either the “A” or “B” final.
“I was not at my best. I don’t know what happened. I was swimming great, but I guess stage fright got to me. Anyway, I have a couple more races, so I’ll be better,” he said.
Swim Team Head Coach Andy Loveitt was expected to send him out for the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, scheduled for Tuesday evening. The result of that race was unavailable up to press time.
The swim portion of the games continues today for Team Bahamas in Peru.