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07

Day 6 of the 16th FINA World Championships - Friday, August 7th, 2015

The splash dash and most exciting event of the Championships, the Mens 50M Freestyle, was the first event of the morning session contested by some of the fastest swimmers in the world including 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Florent Manadou of France for a spot in the semi finals this evening.

Saint Lucia’s best sprinter Jordan Augier, raced in Heat 8 (Lane 7) of 12 heats, along with fellow Caribbean speedster Elvis Burrows of the Bahamas. Improving on his reaction time off the blocks from the Pan American Games (0.68 sec.), Jordan got off to the start he needed to give himself an opportunity to swim under the B qualifying time standard for the Rio Olympics (23.05 sec.). His breakout was super fast and he covered the first half of the race in under 10 seconds as he continued to accelerate through the half point en route to the finish. As he approached the wall, it appeared that he would have a chance to swim under the 23 second mark and accomplish his goal for this meet as the whole heat of swimmers raced into the wall in one line. Unfortunately, it was not to be today as he clocked a final time of 23.30 seconds, good enough for 6th in his heat and 43rd overall of 113 swimmers. After assessing the race, Jordan felt he had done all he could to accomplish a personal best as he felt strong throughout the race all the way up to the finish. Like the 100M freestyle, this was his third personal best swim in this event and within a quarter second of the qualifying standard that he will now look forward to accomplishing at his next Championship Meet in December.

Next up in the 3rd event of the morning, Joshua Runako Daniel stepped up in Lane 9 of Heat 2 (of 8 heats) for his chance to rewrite the Saint Lucia record books once again. After a great warm up yesterday afternoon and this morning, Runako said he felt strong and had a very positive outlook on swimming his best race in the Mens 100m Butterfly.

With his father on hand to cheer him on, Runako executed a perfect race plan from start to finish. Hitting the wall at the half way point looking very relaxed and strong (26.43 sec.), Runako turned and began accelerating from his first stroke toward the finish. At the 75m mark he was well on his way to setting a new personal best and racing the top swimmers in his heat into the wall. Although some of the swimmers caught up at the end, Runako put his head down for his final 3 strokes and gave all he had left. The result was as he had hoped, a new personal best and national record, in a final time of 57.66 seconds. Like his teammate, he also finished 6th in his heat and overall he placed 59th.

With a weekend of swimming events ahead, this concludes the meet for Team Saint Lucia. Both young men will now take a couple weeks off to be with their family and return to their respective universities at the end of the month to begin the final year of preparation toward the hopes of qualifying for the Rio Olympics next summer.

SLASA congratulates both young men on a fantastic Summer Season of swimming as they end the season with a combined 5 New National Records to their names; Jordan (50m Freestyle, 100M Freestyle and 100M Backstroke) and Runako (50m Butterfly and 100M Butterfly).

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