By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IN his opening event at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, Elvis Burrows left the Kazan Arena with an historic first place finish in his heat of the men’s 50 metre butterfly on Sunday as he got the Bahamas’ five-member team off to a splash.
Burrows, 26, was competing for the first time in two major international meets after he didn’t make the team that represented the Bahamas at the Pan Am Games last month in Toronto, Canada. He clocked 24.19 seconds in the men’s 50 metres butterfly for fifth place in the fourth of nine heats. His performance enabled him to finish 32nd overall out of a field of 80 competitors as he was off his national record of 23.74.
Dustin Tynes, fresh off his participation at Pan Am, also competed Sunday in the men’s 100m breaststroke. He clocked 1:03.50 for seventh in the fifth of nine heats for 50th place overall. Going into the event, Tynes had a personal best of 1:02.49 that he did at Pan Am for second place in the B final to lower his national record.
A total of 76 competitors contested the event.
Today, Tynes is scheduled to be back in action when he competes in the men’s 50m breaststroke. He will swim out of the fifth of nine heats with a qualifying time of 28.55, which is also a national record.
On Wednesday, Ariel Weech will be in the second of six heats in the women’s 50m backstroke. She has a qualifying time of 30.54. She will come back on Thursday to contest the women’s 100m freestyle in the fifth of 10 heats.
Burrows will return to the pool on Thursday for the heats of the men’s 50m freestyle. He will swim out of the eighth of 12 heats with a qualifying time of 23.24. Burrows holds the national record of 22.39 that he did at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy.
Also on Thursday, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will compete in the women’s 50m butterfly. Fresh off her double Pan Am medal performance in Toronto, Vanderpool-Wallace will be in the sixth of seven heats where she will attempt to improve on her qualifying time of 25.93. She holds the national record of 25.53 set at the Commonwealth Games last year in Glasgow, Scotland.
Thursday will be a busy day for the Bahamas as Joanna Evans will also be entered in the women’s 800m freestyle. Evans, who missed the 400m freestyle because of her late travel to Russia, will be in the third of five heats where she has a personal best of 8:37.18, which she set as a national record at Pan Am.
Vanderpool-Wallace, who has opted not to compete in the 100m freestyle in Russia, will close out competition on Friday when she competes in her specialty in the women’s 50m freestyle. She is entered in the 10th of 12 heats with her qualifying time of 24.35. She since lowered that by setting the Pan Am and national record to 24.31.
The championships wrap up on Sunday.