By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE Bahamas’ four-member team began competition with a personal best at the 14th FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships in Hangzhou, China.
Victoria Russell was the first competitor for the team and swam her top time in the women’s 50m breastroke. Her time of 32.94 seconds finished at No.34 overall among the field of 60 athletes.
The remainder of the team takes to the pool on day two. Ariel Weech swims in the preliminaries of the 100m freestyle, N’Nhyn Fernander competes in the 100m butterfly and Kohen Kerr takes on the 200m freestyle.
Russell will return for her second event on day three in the 50m fly.
Fernander will be the lone competitior on day four in the 50m fly. The team concludes their meet on day five with Weech in the 50m free and Kerr in the 100m free.
Short Course Worlds, as they are sometimes known, is an international swimming competition. It is held in the years when FINA has not held its main World Championships.
A total of 960 athletes from 178 countries are set to compete for 46 world titles December 11-16.
FINA President Julio Maglione addressed the organisation prior to the start of the event.
“Swimming is progressing fast in the five continents and the IOC recognised this achievement by adding three new events in the swimming programme of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” he said.
“For the first time in our history, aquatics will be the sport with the highest number of medals (49) in the Games’ programme.”
On day one, two world records were broken in the first finals’ session of the competition. Japan’s Daiya Seto set a new record in the men’s 200m fly in 1:48.24 in the last race on the session.
Team USA set a record in the 4x100m free relay in 3:03.03.