Bahamian teenage swimming sensation Lamar Taylor lowered his own national record in the 100 meters (m) freestyle yesterday, swimming at the 19th FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Championships at Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary.
Taylor was in action as he swam out of lane two in heat six of that event. The 19-year-old touched the wall in 50.36 seconds – a new national record, to finish third in his heat. He shaved .16 seconds off his previous personal best time of 50.52 seconds that was done at the Bahamas Aquatics Federation’s National Swimming Championship in June of 2021. Taylor finished 47th out of 88 swimmers.
“I’m ecstatic about lowering my own national record,” Taylor said. “Walking into my race I knew I had to try my hardest to break out from the pack, lead the race and try my hardest to keep my form together to finish the race. My start and break felt smooth and quick.”
Taylor clocked 23.50 seconds in his first 50m then in his final 50m, he came home in 26.86 seconds.
Winning that heat was a familiar competitor to Taylor from CARIFTA meets, Jordan Crooks from the Cayman Islands. He touched the wall in 48.79 seconds. It was a personal best for him. Bulgaria’s Deniel Nankov was second in that heat with a time of 50.30 seconds.
Next up for Taylor is the 50m freestyle tomorrow, which is his final race. He has a personal best time of 22.85 seconds and will look to lower that mark.
Taylor is one of four Bahamians competing in Budapest. Also competing are Lilly Higgs, Zaylie-Elizabeth Thompson and Izaak Bastian.
The quartet swam the 4x100m mixed medley relay yesterday and finished 22nd overall with a time of 4:15.19. There were 28 countries which participated in that race. The Bahamas swam out of lane nine in heat three. Winning that heat were the Dutch who clocked 3:43.48.
Taylor swam the first leg which was the backstroke and swam splits of 27.93 and 30.65 seconds. Bastian was then in the pool for the breaststroke as he swam splits of 29.42 and 35.30 seconds. Thompson swam the butterfly leg and posted splits of 33.03 and 37.71 seconds. Anchoring Team Bahamas on the freestyle leg was Higgs who swam splits of 29.34 and 31.81 seconds.
Bastian has wrapped up competition as he swam in the 100 and 50m breast races on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
In the 100m breast on Friday, Bastian swam out of heat five and touched the wall in 1:03.79. He finished 42nd out of 60 swimmers. His splits were 29.61 and 34.18 seconds. In his heat, there were four qualifiers for the semifinals. Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi won that heat in a time of 59.06 seconds.
Bastian, 21, clocked 28.47 seconds to finish 32nd out of 57 swimmers in the 50m breast. He was in lane one in a tough heat number six. In that heat, there were five swimmers who advanced to the semifinals. Winning that heat was American Michael Andrew in a time of 28.71 seconds.
Thompson made a splash in the pool on Friday in the 200m individual medley (IM). She posted a time of 2:30.15 to finish 30th out of 38 swimmers. Thompson swam out of lane two in the first heat and posted splits of 32.04, 38.09, 44.97 and 35.05 seconds. Winning that heat was Latvia’s Leva Maluka who recorded a time of 2:16.94.
The 18-year-old returns to the pool today for the 100m freestyle – her last individual event of the competition.
Higgs was in action in the women’s 100m breast for her first individual race of the competition. She finished with a time of 1:13.13 to place 41st out of 51 competitors. Her splits were 34.30 and 38.83 seconds. The 21-year-old swam out of lane nine in heat three. Winning that heat was South Korea’s Sua Moon who swam 1:08.50.
Higgs will return to the pool on Thursday morning for the heats of the 50m breast.